Tutorial: Alternative Seasonal Photography

A different view of the familiar

With the festive season upon us, it is time to plan your photography. But rather than more traditional images, why not take an alternative approach to capturing the spirit of the festive season.

This tutorial covers:
• Night Life
• Capturing Movement
• Night Skies
• Out-of-Focus Images
• Close-up Photography
• Photo Booth

If you want to learn how to shoot seasonal portrait photos, then click here for our tutorial on the subject.

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London Eye, You Connect member Aurélien Guichard, Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

Night Life
Many town centres will be enlivened by colourful illuminations currently. A good time to shoot is during the hour after sunset – the illuminations will be on, but there will still be some light in the sky.

Exposure will vary with the brightness of the lights. Large areas of dark sky in the image might mislead the camera metering, overexposing the lights. Take a photo and review it on your camera’s LCD screen, adjusting the exposure compensation if necessary. If available, switch the camera to Manual Mode and shoot a test exposure using a shutter speed of 1/4 second at f/8 with ISO 400 and review the result, adjusting if necessary.

Some street scenes will need an exposure time of several seconds, especially if you want to use a small lens aperture to increase the area of sharpness into the distance. Ideally, the camera should be on a tripod to keep it steady. Alternatively you can improvise with the top of a litter bin or railing to give a firm support.

If the illuminations stretch across a road, or run down both sides, the best viewpoint is often the centre of the road. This also gives a strong feel of perspective. Where possible, shoot after a rain shower. The wet road will reflect the light from the illuminations, adding further interest and colour to the photograph.

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