Christa here to tis the season with lots of merriment, food, giving and of course photo opportunities. Whether you are doing December Daily or not (I happen to not be doing it this year), if you're like me then you still end up with many, many photos on your camera and hopefully in your pages as well. That last part is a little harder for me recently, but I still like to complete at least one page for each year of our holiday. Just don't tell anybody that last year's isn't done either-shhh!
Tis the season also for early sunsets and bad and/or low lighting on Christmas morning. It's inevitable really that you will have less than ideal light, but it's the memories that count not the quality of the photo. However, I'm going to give some quick tips and tricks to help ease the troubles come 6 am on Wednesday morning!
If you have the ability to use an external flash I HIGHLY recommend it. I have an inexpensive one similar to this one. Yes, going up in price will grant better results, but for my purposes this one seems to work just fine when I do need an external flash.
I normally bounce mine towards the ceiling to get good all over light on my daughters for our morning present opening.
Again, not a fantastic photo, but I'm pretty sure my daughter doesn't care about the lighting, but will want to look back on the ghoulish Monster High dolls she received when she was 7 years old!
Setting White Balance
Unless you live somewhere that the light comes into your home at the wee hours of the morning and stays there until late in the evening, you will at some point turn on overhead lights or lamps during the holiday season. Even some point and shoot cameras allow you to have control over your white balance setting.
For example on this camera you would switch that very left dial to "WB" and choose your custom white balance from there. I would advise consulting your manual to figure out if you have that capability and if so, how you change your white balance.
This is an EXCELLENT cheat sheet to know which setting will be right for you if you are changing your white balance. During the winter and especially during the holidays my white balance stays at "flourescent" much of the time because I am indoors taking photos under flourescent light bulbs and overhead lights. If you are more skilled and have a grey card at the ready you can also set a custom white balance for your lighting situation.
I would also highly recommend setting up a tripod if you have one, or maneuvering a coffee table or side table to set your camera on for timer photos or just to steady your grip to reduce blur and shake when taking photos. Because of low light your camera will compensate and use a lower shutter speed, increasing the chances of blurry photos if you are hand holding your camera. This is also a great way to be in on the action as well instead of stuck behind the camera away from family and friends.
I set up my tripod several years ago to capture this photo of my husband and daughter enjoying Christmas morning:
And for the Christmas Eve writing of the letter last year too!
And finally, embrace those grainy photos this time of year. I actually love that about these photos because there is just no getting around it and it adds some character I think to them!
Have a wonderful holiday week and Happy New Year!