With the upcoming Christmas Tree Lighting on Friday night and Santa Clause Parade on Saturday night in down town Truro I came up with a list of tips that you can use when photographing Christmas lights at night:
1) Turn off your flash - When trying to photograph Christmas Lights you want to use the ambient light. When you use your flash it will light up the foreground and will wash out your night landscape.
2) Use a tripod - If you use a tripod you can take a longer exposure and it will help with camera shake so your photos come out sharper. If you do not have a tripod try and find something to prop it up on.
3) Lower your ISO to the lowest possible setting - the higher your ISO with nighttime photography the more likely you are to have grain in your photo - Try to lower it to at least 400 and 100 is even better.
4) If you do not know how to use your camera on Manual and adjust your settings yourself use your night time mode or fireworks mode.
5) When photographing outdoor Christmas lights the best time of night to shoot is a dusk when the sun has just gone down and you still have a little light.
Below are photos that I took in 2009 at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, ON.
2014 Christmas Tree Lighting in down town Truro