How to photograph Christmas lights: best camera settings to use (free cheat sheet)

How to photograph Christmas lights: the best camera settings to use (free cheat sheet)

With the Christmas season in full swing, towns are awash with festive colours and textures. But it can be tricky knowing how to set up your camera to shoot bright subjects in low light. In our latest photography cheat sheet we’ve provided a very timely tips card explaining how to photograph Christmas lights and ensure a good exposure.

How to photograph Christmas lights: the best camera settings to use (free cheat sheet)

Image by Querbeet / Getty

Simply drag and drop the cheat sheet below to your desktop. You can then print it off and keep it in your camera bag the next you go out to photograph Christmas lights in your local area.

How to photograph Christmas lights: free photography cheat sheet

How to photograph Christmas lights: free photography cheat sheet

SEE MORE: 5 Christmas picture ideas that will impress your friends and family

Most town centres are transformed by the sparkle of Christmas lights. When setting the exposure, watch out for lost highlight detail in the lights themselves. You may need a tripod for long exposures at lower ISO settings.

Best camera settings to photograph Christmas lights

Exposure mode
Manual

Focus mode
Manual

Shutter speed
1/15 sec

Aperture         
f/5.6

ISO
800

Lens
18 to 24mm

Drive mode
Single shot

White balance
Daylight or Tungsten

Final Tip
Good high ISOs and image stabilisation mean you can hand-hold many night shots. Try bracing yourself against a wall to get sharp results.

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