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CAPTURING CHRISTMAS MAGIC (AT NIGHT)

It still seems far away, but guess what?!  We are in the month of November, which means next month is Christmas!  And we all know how quickly those last few weeks before the festive season fly by, so it’s time to get prepared, which includes your Christmas photography!

Here are a couple of tips on how to perfectly capture the beauty of Christmas this year. 

01 I Get Outdoors

Christmas time is the most energetic and exciting time to take photographs, especially because of the captivating and imaginative decorations (including Christmas lights) and the festive mood that overcomes whole communities. You can photograph during the day, but here in Cayman some of the most spectacular views can be found at night. Just think of the Christmas Tree Lighting and the Parade of Lights in Camana Bay, or the the phenomenal light show at the Bodden’s home in South Sound and the Crighton house on Shamrock Road. 

02 I The Most Wonderful Time of the Day

Although holiday lights appear best at night, the best time to photograph them is actually at twilight. This is because at twilight there is enough light in the sky to be able to define tree branches, the roof lines and other details. Start shooting about 15 minutes after sunset and then take a shot every five minutes thereafter to get an ideal balance of skylight and the holiday lights. 

03 I Keep It Steady

If you're driving or walking around and snapping shots of holiday lights, try to find ways to stabilise your camera. Since you can’t use flash when capturing Christmas lights (as it would blow out all the beautiful ambient lights) you need to stabilise the camera, put it on a wall or a chair to help you keep it steady while increasing your exposure, if you don’t have a tripod or camera selfie stick. 

04 I Think Outside the Box

Sometimes we become so stuck in our routine way of doing things that we forget to think outside the box and be more creative. With cityscapes or skylines, you have a lot of variety around to consider how you can capture as many different angles as possible. In Camana Bay, for example, try going up the observation tower or venturing to the island to take photos of the tree from a different perspective. Sometimes looking straight up or trying some funky angles can provide an interesting perspective; looking for reflections in the water or buildings can also produce a dramatic look and often helps creating a really unique image.

05 I It’s In The Details

Most smart phones now have a “portrait mode”. Use this feature to take some close up shots of your favourite decorations or your kids in front of a lit up tree - it puts your main subject in focus and creates that beautiful blurred out bokeh of lights in the background.