The holiday season brings travel and that means PICTURES!  Photographs help us tell the story of our vacation, family and all the wonderful things around us.  We want you to have some great pictures to bring back this holiday season so we thought we would give you some tips to get you on the right track.

Photograph using Wide Angles

Shooting wide gives your viewer a real sense of space and beauty in your holiday photos.  These types of photos are great with scenic places, but may not be so great with people.  The closer you put the people in the center of your photographs the less distorted they will look in your wide angle photos.

Vancouver photographer captures crater in Hawaii

Crater in Maui, Hawaii

Use Scale

Using scale will help give your viewers a reference point.  For instance, we used a small stuffed animal to reference how small this mini pineapple was.

Vancouver Photographer shows scale when photographing a mini pineapple

Comparing a mini pineapple with a small stuffed animal.

Isolate your subject to give focus

To better enhance your holiday photographs you may want to consider isolating your subject to give a little more focus to your image.  Consider zooming in really close to the subject and using a shallow depth of field to separate your subject from a busy background.

Vancouver Photographer captures coffee beans ripening on the plant

Isolating the coffee beans from the rows of coffee plants in the plantation.

Play with filters

I am a firm believer in getting as much done in camera as possible.  So rather than trying to manipulate color filters and blurring things into a photograph, I would rather get it done right.  It saves you so much time in the post processing stage and of course it is VERY satisfying when you get your image right in camera.

We used different color gradient filters and ND filters to make this photograph.  This allowed us some pretty colors and blurring of the water.

Vancouver Photographer captures image of downtown skyline at dusk

Using filters to allow the water to blur and change the colors of the image help make the image stand out.

Salvaging Highlights

Now that the holiday season is amongst us, remember that when you are out photographing the light displays, you must control the highlights.  Make sure that you don’t over expose the lights so that you get clear, vibrant colours.  If you need more light, it is best to use a flash to help you fill in some of the shadows.  Heck, the lights look good by themselves anyway…

Vancouver Photographer captures light display at Stanley Park Bright Nights

This photo is used by the Vancouver Parks board for their Bright Nights display. Notice that we worked to salvage the light highligts so you can see details in the displays.

Drag the shutter

With so many great lighting displays around town, perhaps you want to photograph your family and friends and still have the lights show up nicely in the background.  Keep the shutter open longer by setting a longer shutter speed.  Your flash will light up your subjects, and keeping the shutter open will allow the light from the background to appear.

Photo showing how to to include the lights in the background of your photographs

By letting the shutter stay open longer after your photograph, you can include some of the lights that are around you and in the background.

We hope that some of these techniques will help you on your way to having great memories to last a lifetime.   Happy shooting!