LATEST FEATURE: On Assignment: Ben Lurye

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

How to Photograph Christmas Lights


Normally when we talk about balancing light on Strobist, it usually means balancing ambient with flash. But getting good photos of holiday lights involves a different kind of light balancing: Continuous ambient with fading ambient.

You don't need a high-end camera for great results. You can use a very inexpensive digital camera and do just fine. You don't even need flash. It all comes down to what time of the day you shoot. And a couple of other little tricks.


Timing and Balance

Photo by Troy McCullough

The problem with the vast majority of Christmas lights photos is that most people wait until way too late to start shooting. After it gets completely dark, you can either have the lights or the surroundings properly exposed. But not both.

Conversely, if you were to shoot the lights in the middle of the day, they would not show up at all. The trick is find the sweet spot (actually there is a whole range of sweet spots) where the ambient light and the Christmas lights balance.


Photo by David Hobby, Baltimore Sun

Understanding this will ensure that your photos are way better than those of your neighbors. After all, isn't that what Christmas lights are really about?

How to Do It:

1. Arrive early. The best time to shoot is before it gets totally dark. More specifically, get there before what looks like mix light to your eyes, too. Arriving around sunset will give you time to plan your shot before the good light happens. You may have to ask your subject to turn the lights on early - most people don't flip them on until the good light is already gone.

2. Compose your photo in such a way as to include as much sky as possible in the background. Shooting from a low position can help. Even better: If you have your choice of shooting direction, shoot into the afterglow of the evening sky.

3. Once you get your picture framed, set your camera's white balance for "tungsten," as if you were shooting indoors without flash. All of those little lights are tungsten balanced. As a bonus, the tungsten setting will turn your afterglow sky royal blue once your light balances out. The sky will look great - even if it is a cloudy evening. And your lights will gleam crystal white -- or whatever color they are supposed to be.

[UPDATE: Since 2006 when this was first written, there has been a steady move from tungsten to the use of LED holiday lights. These days, the best approach is still to start with the tungsten setting -- but check your other white balance settings to see which looks best.]

4. A light foreground (like the snow above) or water (as in the boat photo) can give nice foreground interest. See what you can find. In a pinch a reflective car roof will do. As a bonus, it will steady your camera.

5. Use a tripod or a beanbag to steady your camera. You'll be shooting in the range of a quarter second to a full second at twilight. If shooting with a smartphone or tablet, use both hands to brace it against something solid.

6. Now, wait for the light to happen.

Shoot a test shot every minute or so. At first, you'll be exposing for the sky and the lights will appear unimpressive. Check the back of your camera after each shot to watch the Christmas lights appear to "come up" as the ambient light level goes down. Your eye is constantly adjusting to compensate for the dropping light levels, but the changes will be happening nonetheless. Your camera will record them differently from the way that you eye sees them (you can see a much greater contrast range) so shoot and chimp.


Photo by Michael DeHaan

Somewhere in between sunset and full dark, the Christmas lights and the ambient light will start to mix beautifully. You'll have about a 10-minute window which will give you a nice series of subtly different lighting variations. Remembering to keep your camera as still as possible, shooting lots of frames through the mix light. Ones and zeros are free, so don't be stingy. You do not have much time. You can delete the duds (or blurred photos) later.



The trick of using tungsten white balance and shooting through the mix works for all kinds of light-filled scenes, not just the typical holiday lights. Church nativity scenes -- even the annual trip to get a Christmas tree -- look great at mix light.

Incidentally, this time of day is when the architectural photographers make the big bucks. And they are smart enough to tell everyone in their subject building to leave the lights on that night, too.

Once the ambient and artificial lights cross balance in intensity your opportunity will fade quickly, along with the evening light. You will know both are gone when your photos start looking like the "bad light" photos you used to take.

Even if all you have is an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera and no tripod, good results are still within your grasp. Patrick Kunzler, a night photo editor with the Chicago area Daily Herald group of community newspapers, offers this great video tutorial with even 2007 point-and-shoot technology:





Finally...

Afterwards, take a moment and put your camera away. You still have a few minutes to enjoy the scene with your eyes. The human eye has the remarkable ability to compress a large dynamic range into a scene your brain can process. Just relax, soak it in and think about all of the shopping you have left to do.

This is one of the few times that both shooting pictures and enjoying the moment do not conflict with each other.


Next: Hit for Average


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112 Comments:

Blogger Patrick Smith said...

Did I miss the lighted boats @ the inner harbor! Darn.

I'll have to shoot a picture of WMAR sportcaster Scott Garceau' house, as I live about 10-minutes away and pass it every day on my way home from Towson. It's pretty amazing.

December 12, 2006 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Geoffco said...

Sweet - cool post. I'll be trying this out tonight :-)

December 12, 2006 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Doug said...

Apparently, the editors at lifehacker frequent your blog. I sent the link over to a friend only to be told that he had already seen it on lifehacker. Nice!

December 13, 2006 10:23 AM  
Blogger tjarmstrong said...

My sister's husband passed away this summer and my brother and I bought a spruce tree for her front yard(which he always wanted) I will be using your techniques one night this week to shoot the tree for her. Thanks for the post. I'll let you know how I made out.

Tim

December 13, 2006 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks David. I had been looking for these tips for a while now. I cant wait to give it a try

El

December 13, 2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Mike Charbonneau said...

Thanks for the post; I particularly liked the bit about taking the time to soak it all in.

December 13, 2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous NShmidt said...

Another tip that will help with getting a steady picture and not blurring a beautiful shot is to use the timer setting on your camera to absorb the shake from your hand when you press the capture button, set your camera to the 2 second timer (or customize your setting to your comfort) then hit the capture button - the picture will be taken without any shake on the camera.
(this is a great help if your don't have a tripod handy)

December 13, 2006 1:56 PM  
Anonymous david said...

David, your posts are geting spooky, just a few hours after reading the christmas lights post my local estate agent (realtor) asked me to photograph his christmas lights in the evening time.....coincidence or conspiracy!!
Keep up the excellent work and merry christmas to you and your family

December 13, 2006 3:35 PM  
Anonymous pasci.it said...

very very intereting indeed! Thanks for sharing this :-)

December 13, 2006 4:19 PM  
Anonymous Daldianus said...

Nice summary indeed, thanks.

December 13, 2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous dez said...

perfect timing!! my girlfriend just IM'd me about going to see the lights at zilker park (austin) tonight. i've been so busy at work today, that i just now got to visit strobist and what do i see? a post about shooting christmas lights. good stuff as always! thanks

December 13, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger Dr. Know-it-all said...

Would doing this with Tonemapping/HDR be cheating?

December 13, 2006 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good photo!!!!!

December 14, 2006 6:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Would doing this with Tonemapping/HDR...."

The word “alternatives” will do nicely. Just practicing 'freedom of choice”.
There are many way to skin a cat.

December 14, 2006 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Camera Man said...

Lots of information for me to process there! Great info thanks!

December 14, 2006 7:33 AM  
Blogger Marten said...

David

Just a quick note check out the sad news:
http://photoshopnews.com/2006/12/13/bruce-frasers-serious-illness/

December 14, 2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger DHB Photography said...

Great post!

December 15, 2006 9:30 AM  
Blogger Chris J. Lee said...

Congrats you've been Digged.

http://digg.com/tech_news/How_to_photograph_Christmas_Lights

December 15, 2006 10:02 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Excellent article! Thanks for the tips!

December 15, 2006 10:15 AM  
Blogger rayshma said...

thanks a ton for the tips! will sure try them out this weekend... and kp u posted on how i fare.
merry x'mas!

December 15, 2006 12:34 PM  
Blogger Jordon said...

Thanks, never even seen this in any photography books...

December 15, 2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

THANKS for the tips. I've been aching to photograph Christmas lights, but never have a tripod with me when I need. Your tips may help me in that area. Merry CHRISTmas!

December 15, 2006 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To every rule, there is an exception. Some images actually look much better during the night time. Example 2.

December 15, 2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Gavin Photography said...

I have always loved your articles. keep up the great work!

December 15, 2006 2:09 PM  
Blogger Kenneth said...

I'm still an amateur photographer, but this tutorial is great. Thanks!

December 15, 2006 5:24 PM  
Blogger Tom G said...

Great article. I can't wait to try it (maybe this weekend).

I'm not familiar with your bean bag trick though. It seems to me that a bean bag would create an uneven surface to place the camera on. I'll have to poke around the blog more for an explanation.

Good stuff!

December 15, 2006 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you are photographing Christmas lights that are the new LED type... would you still use the Tungsten setting?

December 16, 2006 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Ross C said...

Thanks for all the tips. This is very helpful information because the camera on my phone has been crap in the shots I tried to take on Thanksgiving.

December 18, 2006 6:13 PM  
Anonymous Fred Fortin said...

Thanks for the tips. It's always goog to know the right thing to do in this case!

December 24, 2006 1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hints! I think I'll grab a few before the lights come down!

December 30, 2006 10:46 PM  
Blogger Ben Graves said...

That was super informative! I'm still learning all this photography stuff and that was a great article!

January 06, 2007 12:01 PM  
Blogger John said...

Great information for Christmas light photography. Thanks so much!!

January 14, 2007 7:01 PM  
Blogger ramya said...

These pictures are wonderful!
Thank you for valuable advice!
Ramya
Christmas and a Christmas tree

January 21, 2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Ivan Minic said...

Just what I needed!

January 31, 2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous scott said...

These pictures are wonderful,but I think that for them need very good objectiv.

April 27, 2007 11:40 AM  
Anonymous annerose said...

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

June 10, 2007 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Freelance Website Design said...

Hey, Awesome Blog. This post is awesome, now I know why my photos of Xmas lights are garbage :)

June 11, 2007 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Milinda said...

Very good information. Thanks!

August 06, 2007 5:28 AM  
Blogger Komail Noori said...

Thanks for sharining such a usefull information. It definately helps to understand and incrase my knowledge.

Regards,
Komail Noori
Web Site Design - SEO Expertn

August 19, 2007 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Search Engine Optimization said...

i like post. looks like i have some work to do

October 12, 2007 10:37 AM  
Anonymous steve said...

great tips.thnx.

October 15, 2007 1:26 PM  
Anonymous creative photography tips said...

Thanks for this great creative photography tip.

I can't wait for all the Christmas lights to start cropping up for some great light shots.

Bring it on!

November 11, 2007 3:15 AM  
Blogger scubajunkie said...

Tom G.

Bean bags are "moldable". Not as good as clay or putty, but no sticky residue ;-) Just push the camera/phone into it until it is level and sturdy.

December 04, 2007 12:48 PM  
Blogger Phil Hunton said...

Nice stuff, Ill have to get into town and try shooting the lights there and dodging the drunken idiots that congregate in Newcastle at this time of year.

BTW David, if you get a knowck at the door at an ungodly hour with an irrate Geordie lass on the other side then I apologise, I bought a G9 on your recommendation and blamed it entirely on you, I told her we'd have to wait an extra month or two for the wedding.

December 04, 2007 2:11 PM  
Blogger Magdalen Islands said...

Thanks for all the tips you have given here. I will be putting them to good use this Christmas.

December 08, 2007 2:40 PM  
Anonymous Bernie said...

Seeing the link to the Annapolis Pictures from the Baltimore Sun, made me think that might be worth posting my Annapolis Christmas Tree pictures. They're on my page at:

Rocket9.net

Though I didn't follow the tips here, but will definitely keep them in mind. My shots were taken at about 5am on two different days. One in heavy fog, and one under the full moon (planned the time and day to have the full moon over the capital).

December 20, 2007 9:58 AM  
Blogger Gary England said...

Thanks for your Very helpful article on Christmas lights. I live in Las Vegas and lights are a big part of photos here. I can't wait to try this out tonight!

December 20, 2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger Pedaling said...

oohh, i just found your blog - i think it's going to help me alot in my photo taking - thanks, great post!

December 21, 2007 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Search Engine Optimization said...

thanks for the tips. also i really like the pictures

December 28, 2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Susan L said...

I have always found it difficult taking good shots of anything that is lit up, I seem to always get the bright lights effecting the rest of the image, thanks for the tips.

February 27, 2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous trademark registration said...

Hi, Great Blog. This post is very informative! Now I know why my photos of X-mas lights are garbage :)

April 05, 2008 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tip.

NOW......... what about indoor lights? Dimmer switches might provide the same concept I suppose. Any other tips for indoors? Especially if dimmers are not available.

I would like to get good photos of my chili pepper lights.

June 17, 2008 8:16 AM  
Anonymous London christmas party said...

Some great, sound advise thanks, for sharing it!!
Sam xx w

August 12, 2008 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Christmas Embroidery Designs said...

Great pictures , Thank you

October 12, 2008 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Kharmas mommy said...

shooting some christmas photos of my daughter for the family, this helps alot, i wasnt quit sure how i was going to pull it off with the lights. THANK YOU

November 24, 2008 5:49 PM  
Anonymous A Video Christmas said...

Great advice Thanks for sharing your expertise!

November 29, 2008 12:02 AM  
Blogger liz said...

Wonderful, wonderful. I tried this out today. My camera doesn't have a tungsten setting, but it has an incandescent setting. Is that the same? The Christmas lights were just right, but everything was too blue. Like the WB was way off. What should I do...?

December 11, 2008 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi

This article is still providing what sounds like good advice to us n00bs. Will be trying it out on the Christmas lights in my village this year.

Thanks.

Jim in the UK.
(found via flickr link)

December 13, 2008 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Børnetøj said...

Great advice - We just had some trouble shooting christmas light when it's dark. Now I now why :-)
Wil try it this afternoon. Thanks for the tip

December 17, 2008 5:17 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

Great tips for shooting during the holiday season, I almost wish I would have read this article in oh say maybe October - oh well - none the less -

Here is my 90D90.com short film of all the shots I took in the first 90 Days of owning my Nikon D90 - Notice some X-mas shots in there?

I'm looking for other submissions for 90D90.com as well - not limited to D90's though.. so feel free to submit yours

December 20, 2008 1:33 PM  
Blogger Breanna said...

Thanks so much for the great info!!

December 20, 2008 3:03 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Dont forget to watch out for light ghosting if you have a filter on your lens.

December 20, 2008 9:02 PM  
Blogger jbhildebrand said...

There's some beautiful lights here in Ottawa... unfortunately it's also -30C :(

December 20, 2008 11:11 PM  
Blogger Mellimage said...

This advice brought me into the mood to try shooting Christmas lights at the local Christmas market. Thanks!

December 21, 2008 2:37 AM  
Blogger the notorious C.H.A.S said...

a friend of mine recommended this posting and i am glad. these are really great tips. also..the bean bag idea to stabalize the camera is such an awesome idea and i have never heard of this. i have current moved to germany and my things from the states are being shipped here, sadly my tripod is in that stash and wasn't able to fit in my suit case for the plane ride. so...the bean bag is def. a good alternative til i get my tripod back.

thanks a lot for the tips.
-chas

December 21, 2008 3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lot of places leave the lights on through the night or turn them on early in the morning.

If you are an early riser, you have somewhat of a longer window of around 30 minutes to do the ambient+christmas lights pics.

December 22, 2008 2:45 PM  
Anonymous cammyjams said...

This article helped me
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36113180@N00/sets/72157611551419758/

December 24, 2008 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Rob Perry said...

I'd recognize my Baltimore anywhere, nice photos

December 25, 2008 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Ward Cameron said...

I have done a great deal of twilight shooting. I've found that if I use my spotmeter to read the sky and wait until it reads 8 seconds at f11 I tend to get a perfect balance between the ambient light and the buildings. It's one of my favorite times to take photographs.

December 27, 2008 12:08 PM  
Blogger Melissa's Cozy Tea Time Readings said...

I'm new to your blog and as I was reviewing your past posts, I realized I could do this tonight but had to leave the house right then! I did it. I took MUCH better pics tonight then what I had taken a few days ago. Some of the pics were a bit motion blurred because I was a bit scared I would get into trouble with the hotel but they were very nice and let me take a couple pics on my way through their parking lot flipping a u-turn. on Saturday I'll be posting my pics I took tonight and comparing them to the ones I took earlier in the season. Thansk for the tip. Love your blog!

January 01, 2009 7:37 PM  
Anonymous pressure vessels said...

thanks for the tips! i love shooting colorful lights and its just amazing to shoot those colorful shimering lights.

April 27, 2009 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Event Lighting, San Francisco said...

The pictures look great!

April 28, 2009 3:34 AM  
Anonymous Griffith Santa said...

Without this simple tutorial, I would've had countless blurry pictures of my automated show. Thanks so much

May 11, 2009 10:14 AM  
Anonymous vijesti vesti said...

Awesome. I like second photo.It's peace of art.

June 04, 2009 6:22 AM  
Anonymous stanovi trebinje said...

Great tip. I try,but with no succes.

July 28, 2009 8:43 AM  
Blogger Russell F said...

Thanks for the post. I am trying to find ideas about a Christmas card photo.

October 21, 2009 1:59 PM  
Blogger Ningning said...

Vicky SunSaid...
Beautiful pictures. Hope every one has a happy new year in 2009. Christmas Lights are so special to celebrate the important monment. :0Merry Christmas to Everyone!

November 13, 2009 12:39 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

beautiful photos!! I loved the tips....

do these tips hold for indoors as well? I want to take pictures of my Christmas tree lights but it's daytime and of course, the lights aren't really showing up in my pics..

December 01, 2009 9:42 AM  
Blogger David Porter said...

Thanks for the tips!

December 03, 2009 12:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Absolute legend! :) Ive just taken on an assignment to photograph the Christmas light in several city centres and shopping complexes all over the UK. Everytime I have an assignment, you seem to post something that relates perfectly to whatever im doing. Thanks again, the strobist blog has a special place in my heart.

December 03, 2009 3:09 PM  
Blogger Melissa's Cozy Tea Time Readings said...

Did this last year, based on this blog post, and pics turned out much better. Thanks! Now, if only I cold photograph the moon better!

December 03, 2009 3:16 PM  
Blogger Sbalani said...

Sweet! Ive been wondering how to get good xmas light stuff! Now i just need somewhere to shoot....lets just say this city isnt the friendliest of them all...



http://www.blog.sbalaniphotography.com

December 03, 2009 9:20 PM  
Blogger CB said...

This never gets old

December 04, 2009 1:46 PM  
Blogger katerina said...

hey everybody need some advice please i use nikon D80 camera i do not have tripod i shoot 99% of the time just with my camera not tripod since i cant aford one..my question is what would be the best setting best ISO and Exposure i should use to make my house with christmas lights on photo look good with out the lights being blur out..

December 07, 2009 11:17 PM  
Blogger Vitor said...

Thank you for your help! :)
I've done mine and posted it in http://janeladeimagens.blogspot.com/.

December 08, 2009 6:38 PM  
Blogger Christopher Marx said...

Can you ad to this IF you wanted to have a person/subject in the photo. How would you lite the face of the subject.

December 09, 2009 6:54 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

Thank you for the very detailed tips, especially getting as much sky into the shot as possible. I stumbled upon the shooting at dusk time frame being the best by accident last week.

December 16, 2009 9:12 PM  
Blogger sandra said...

Thanks for the imformation on christmas lights I cant wait to go out doors and take pictures. i also love shooting at sunsets


Thank you.

Sandra Navarro

Cleveland OH

December 18, 2009 12:20 AM  
Blogger Pat J. Robins said...

Wow! Thanks for the pointers on shooting Christmas lights...I can't wait to apply the information!

December 20, 2009 2:21 PM  
Blogger Ladson said...

good, timely content. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2009 1:27 PM  
Blogger Melony said...

Hello to everyone out there in the photgrapher world. I was wondering how to get family pictures of my family in front of the Christmas tree with the lights shining in the background!!! I have put the camera on the tripod and played with the shutter speed and the aperature, and get great shots of the Christmas tree itself but all the subjects (aka my family) turn out blurry. Is there a way to capture both the tree and my family clearly??

December 31, 2009 5:11 PM  
Blogger Melony said...

Hello to everyone out there in the photgrapher world. I was wondering how to get family pictures of my family in front of the Christmas tree with the lights shining in the background!!! I have put the camera on the tripod and played with the shutter speed and the aperature, and get great shots of the Christmas tree itself but all the subjects (aka my family) turn out blurry. Is there a way to capture both the tree and my family clearly??

December 31, 2009 5:12 PM  
Blogger Christmas Lights said...

Wow. As a professional decorator I really appreciate all the help with caputuring images. Thank you so much for this very helpful information.

March 13, 2010 4:37 PM  
Blogger julierennerphoto said...

Thanks so much for the great post and detailed information. I am taking on an assignment to photograph some houses where the lighting has been switched to LED. My client wants the lights to be showcased in the pictures. This should be very similar to your description - hopefully! Thanks again.

May 18, 2010 9:49 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I'm amazed with how few great Christmas light photos are taken. Most amateur photographers really have no idea how to take light photographs. We take a lot of Christmas light photos for TheLightPros.com using a method of layering over- and under-exposed shots.

September 18, 2010 11:55 AM  
Blogger www.simplyreg.com said...

It makes so much sense to not wait until it is completely dark to photograph lights. Simple but effective.

November 26, 2010 8:58 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

timely...shooting zoolights next week...1.5 million little bulbs a blinking...thanks!

November 29, 2010 1:57 PM  
Blogger Sheri Johnson said...

I am wondering as everyone starts using LED Christmas lights, would that change the "tungsten" setting?

November 30, 2010 6:50 AM  
Blogger MF/News said...

Hey David your tipes are intersting. I'll try today and comback to share my experience.
See you!

December 20, 2010 1:39 PM  
Blogger M.Lee said...

very interesting article. I have just started with my 365 photos (for 2011) and am just using a point and shoot (canon ixus 120 IS)... your tips will surely prove useful!
Thank you and Happy New Year!!! :)

January 04, 2011 12:24 PM  
Blogger CountAight said...

Strange coincidence, I read this article at work, and on my way home I was waiting at the train station and the perfect timing arose, here is the results using only my mobile phone https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/VXnDE_b03LUPmHCvLXFWp0T7i_HF7FQzq33vLe_7yvI?feat=directlink
and
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ofkgSd8tD7BbYlj1A2Hm-UT7i_HF7FQzq33vLe_7yvI?feat=directlink

October 25, 2011 11:02 PM  
Blogger donnahde said...

Very informative and especially interesting that it's still very informative and helpful 5 years after originally posted! Kudos and thanks to Strobist!

November 19, 2011 11:33 AM  
Blogger Too Much Stuff said...

This tutorial worked beautifully. Thanks for some much helpful advice. I've tweeted my photo and a link to this post. Here's hoping you get more great traffic.

November 26, 2011 2:18 PM  
Blogger The PhotoKenosha Group said...

One of a handful of articles I always recommend for Holiday shooting.

Looking for new articles I came across this almost word for word rip off from freedigitalphototips on Youtube. Includes an ad for an ebook. I wonder how much Strobist is in the book?

November 29, 2011 4:11 PM  
OpenID dorothycunningham said...

Thank you for the info...I'm going to shoot Christmas light this evening...Hope they turn out! Thank you for the tips!

December 10, 2011 4:11 PM  
Blogger Cool Panoramas said...

I am just learning to noodle with my Nikon D90 in low light. This is an awesome explanation that is easy to understand for the beginner. I am planning some test shots tonight and shoot a panorama in a few days. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

December 18, 2011 6:30 AM  
Blogger Lorie said...

Thank you for the tips... just in time for the holiday and the lovely lights. Merry christmas :-)

December 22, 2011 7:56 PM  
Blogger Brittie said...

http://www.christmas-lighting-rockwall.com/how-to-photograph-holiday-lights.html
After reading this post, I found the link above... David, seems like you have been excessively "paraphrased". Argh!

December 22, 2011 10:09 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks for the post, very helpful. You have a new fan.

Saludos

December 29, 2011 11:47 PM  
Blogger Charles Mackenzie-Hill said...

That's, great timing, was also looking to shoot and exterior for a property.

Anther follower as well.

Have a great Christmas and Happy New Year.

December 07, 2012 10:07 AM  
Blogger Roberto Santiago Rodriguez said...

As most things in photography balance is the key;ambient-artificial light, shadow, highlight. Thanks Strobist for making this so clear to us.

December 11, 2012 6:17 AM  
Blogger Gregory Urbano said...

wow! thanks for all the great advice on a difficult shooting situation!

December 12, 2012 8:17 PM  

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