Bournemouth Electric Camera Club Trips
Night time photography of Bournemouth Christmas Lights
It was a freezing cold evening on Wednesday 1st December just before the snow arrived that 5 brave souls ventured into Bournemouth town centre braving the elements and the drunks to take some photographs of the Christmas light decorations in Bournemouth. We met at the Bournemouth Electric Club to minimise the number of cars required to park in town and headed off towards Braidley Road to park as close to town as possible. From Braidley Road we made our way on foot with our camera gear for a night time shoot all packed.
·Some god tips for taking photos of Christmas lights at night are:
- Arrive before the sun goes down.
- Take your photos using a tripod.
- Use a remote timer release if possible, if not use the 2 second timer to allow the tripod to settle after pressing the button.
- you are looking for the time of day where the Christmas lights and the external ambient light balance.
- If you can shoot your photos into the after glow of the evening light.
- Try to shoot in raw if your camera allows it, if not set the white balance to tungsten, this will tint the evening sky and balance the Christmas lights.
- Use shutter speeds in the region of 1/4 to 1 whole second.
We were arriving later than the sundown option so had to try some creative techniques. Shooting later on the contrast of the lights to the sky was darker so a slightly different game plan was attempted. I tried the lowest F number (larger aperture) , somewhere between f/2.8 to f/4.6 on a convential DSLR lens and an ISO of around 400.