The festive season is well and truly upon us, while the 25th is fast approaching too.
It’s likely that your camera will be seeing a lot of action this Christmas Day, but how can you make sure you that you take the best possible pictures on the big day?
Here’s some tips for using different settings to get great Christmas Day photos.
1.Utilise burst mode
Do you want to capture the exact moment that a special someone opens up a much a longed for toy or gift? Set your camera to burst mode and take some of the stress about capturing the perfect moment away.
Some cameras, such as the Panasonic G7 and GX8 feature “4K photo” mode, which make it even easier. With the ability to capture 30 frames per second, and then choose the exact moment you want in camera, you’re almost guaranteed to get a reaction image to savour.
Other cameras offer different speeds - just choose the fastest your camera can offer, whether that’s 5fps, 12fps or another figure. You’ll usually find the setting you need under “Drive Mode”.
2. Think about white balance settings
Whether we see a white Christmas, or you’re trapped indoors by torrential downpours, the lighting conditions on Christmas Day can be trickier than an average day.
If you want to capture some beautiful family portraits on December 25th, avoid strange colours in your images by taking a custom white balance reading, or using a preset White Balance setting.
For shooting outdoors, you can usually choose between Daylight / Sunny presets, or Cloudy / Overcast. If the ground is covered in white snow, you could also take a reading directly from the snow itself!
It’s very likely you’ll be shooting indoors at some point during the day, especially as night falls. If you’re shooting under artificial light, look for Tungsten and Fluorescent White Balance settings, but again for complete accuracy, take a white balance reading.
Keep on eye on how your images appear as day turns into night, and take another white balance reading after sunset. If your camera is capable, shoot in raw format and you’ll be able to correct any white balance errors using photo editing software.
All cameras are slightly different, so check your instruction manual for how to take a white balance setting for your individual camera.
3. Get close for beautiful food shots
So you’ve unwrapped the presents, taken a few family shots - what’s next? Ah, the huge Christmas spread of course!
There’s never a better time to practice your food photography as there will be a plethora of tasty treats available for you to point your lens at.
Investing in a dedicated macro lens will help you get beautiful detailed shots, and most have a wide maximum aperture (usually f/2.8) to help you create a beautiful shallow depth of field effect.
If you don’t have a camera with interchangeable lenses, you can still activate macro mode to help your camera’s lens focus in on the fine detail of your food.
With hot food it’s important to work quickly, before it gets cold (and you get hungry). Try to position your camera at the same height as the food, rather than from eye level, for maximum impact, and pay close attention to the background - the more Christmassy, the better!
What will you be photographing this Christmas?