Christmas Photographs; Why You Should Always Take Some
Christmas photographs; It’s a nice habit to get into building up a portfolio of them over the years.
I think it’s nice to take some at, and especially of things related to that special time of year.
As I write this we’re getting close to December 2020 which will probably very different taking Christmas photographs.
However different it will be, I will still try to take some photos of the event.
You can photograph some of the decorations associated with Christmas, there’s many possibilities on the Christmas Tree alone.
Some people dream of a white Christmas, and if you get on, then you can get some snowy landscapes.
In Ireland we get very little snow, but we did get some at Christmas in 2009.
The landscapes decorating this blog post were taken at that time.
Your camera for Christmas photographs
You probably have a camera, but it’s still nice to have a look at of the new ones available now.
Every year brings cameras with new and greater capabilities than ones from the previous year had.
If you can afford a new one, and you find one that you particularly like, then why not buy one.
If there’s one lesson from this year, it’s probably that you should things now, the future may not be great.
When introduced some years ago, mirrorless cameras may have looked like a novelty, but they almost look essential now.
Wouldn’t it be nice to take your Christmas photographs with a new state-of-the-art mirrorless camera.
You could use it take photos like the Christmas Tree decoration in the photograph above.
There’s a bigger selection here.
More lenses allow more possibilities
Whether you get a new camera or not it would be nice to get a new lens.
As long as you continue to use the same make of camera, lenses can be used on future bodies.
Even if you buy a different brand of camera, you could still use your lenses, by using a converter.
One or two lenses can give you the capability of taking a wide range of photographs.
However it’s nice to add some more that will allow you take better photos in some instances.
You can take a reasonable close in photo with most lenses but a macro lens is better for the job.
Similarly an ultra wide lens will allow you squeeze more into a photo, especially a landscape.
If you’d like to see more look here.
Tripods are almost essential
Sometimes it feels like a drag to set up a tripod, but it always makes a good photograph more probable.
Of all camera gear it’s probably the most awkward to carry around, it rarely fits in a kit bag.
However when you come back with photos that aren’t as sharp as they could, you’ll be sorry it stayed behind.
Once you choose well, and make sure it’s the right one, you may never need to buy another.
A lot of your Christmas photographs will be taken indoors where tripods are especially useful.
There’s a big selection here.
The most indispensable and yet easily overlooked
You pop a memory card into its slot, start shooting, and almost forget it’s there.
The greater the capacity of the card, the longer it lasts, and the easier to forget that it’s vital.
If your card is full, with some unsaved images, and you haven’t another, you simply have to go home.
A memory card to a digital camera is the very same as film to a film camera, an absolute necessity.
So while a new memory card may not be the most mouth watering prospect, it may be one the best.
Have a look at what’s available, and never leave home with a camera, and without a spare memory card.
Extra lighting is a matter of taste
It’s quite possible that a photographer who never shoots anything other than landscapes will not need extra lighting.
Most photographers will want to add to available light, and that provided by a pop up flash light though.
Some amass a huge amount of extra lighting, way beyond what I think I would ever need.
With that amount of lighting, I think it’s a matter of taste and effect, and not a requirement.
However I think it’s no great load to add a speed light or a led panel to one’s equipment.
There is a vast amount of extra lighting available to those who want it.
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Just get the gear bag you need now
Even if you only have a camera and a lens, you will need a bag to house and protect it.
The more gear you do have then the bigger gear bag you will need to contain and transport it.
Photo gear bags come in a variety of sizes, and suit an equal variety of needs.
There’s no need to have a huge bag if you only have a little equipment.
As the gear you have increases, you can get bigger bags, as and when you need them.
In all probability you will only have to upgrade once or twice unless you’re unlucky.
It would be a false economy getting a very spacious bag with little to put in it.
By the time you would be able to fill it, it might be worn, and ready for retirement.
Just get the bag you need, until you simply have to have more room.
There’s a bigger selection here.
Filters can do a lot for photography
You may not need to use any filters taking Christmas photographs, but they’re useful at other times.
Polarising filters are versatile and useful for more than one thing when using a camera.
Firstly, one can emphasise the blueness of a sky, and the whiteness of the clouds floating through it.
They also cut out glare and reflection from water and surfaces that reflect light.
Neutral density filters slow down the light entering the lens blurring photos, a desired effect in some instances.
Graduated neutral density filters used correctly keep colour in a sky which would be washed out otherwise.
Even at Christmas some filters can be a nice addition to your photographic equipment.
See what’s on offer here.
Most Christmas photographs, and others, need an edit or touch up
When you take photographs, it’s always possible to improve the way they look with photo editing software.
If you shoot in RAW, which I always do, it’s necessary to at least save them with software.
They wont look very well as they’re saved in the camera and will have to be touched up.
A JPEG can look presentable straight out of the camera, but will almost certainly benefit from a touch up.
You need to be careful with JPEGs though, if you resave them their quality will begin to degenerate.
There are two ways you can edit JPEGs without them loosing quality.
First when you edit them, always use the Save As… option, this will save the edit as a new photo.
It will leave the original as is, but give the new photo a new name, and save it to a different file.
The second way is to save it as a TIFF before you do anything else with it.
Again it’s safer to save it in a different file so you wont get them mixed up.
Always edit the TIFF as it doesn’t loose quality when you resave it, regardless of doing so more than once.
Have a think about your own website
You don’t need a website unless you want to sell something or offer a service through it.
If you want to show your Christmas photographs online, there are plenty of options available.
There are social media websites and a good number of photo sharing and showcasing services on the internet.
However, you are not the boss of any of those, and they could change their rules or disappear.
Then, you may not want the world to see your photos, you might want to keep them private.
If you do want to show them, and keep control the process, then you might consider starting a website.
Here the possibilities are enormous, there are so many providers of one sort or another.
You can buy hosting and do a complete site yourself, coding your own or using a service like word press.
Then there’s companies that host your site and let you build it on one of many templates.