12th day of christmas: light the world

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of you! Today I wanted to share a little photography tip for the holidays, and share some inspiration to help you decide how you can spread light and goodness in the world–something that is desperately needed right now.

Christmas Bokeh Lights

One of my favorite photos to take during the holiday season is my Christmas tree on Christmas Eve with all the presents wrapped and the lights off. I love the warm glow of the tree lights and the peaceful feeling of knowing that everything’s done, everyone’s asleep, and that we get to spend a wonderful day together tomorrow.
After I take a normal photo of the tree, I always like to take a bokeh photo of the lights for fun. It’s not as hard as it seems  and I love the dreamy quality. Here’s how I take this shot:
Using my DSLR in manual mode, I start by setting my ISO to over 3200. You have to be careful not to set that number too high or your photo will be grainy. Then I set my F-stop (that’s the number with the F in front of it) to between 3 and 4. That’s the lowest the lens I use will go, but if you have a lens that goes lower, I would set it lower than that.
With those settings your shutter speed will need to be pretty low to let enough light in–between 10 and 20. When your shutter speed is that low, you either need a tripod or something stationary to rest your camera on. Next, take you camera’s auto focus setting and turn it to manual. Adjust the focus so your photo is blurry.
You may need to play around with your settings to get your shot just right for your situation, but that’s the basic idea!
Light the World
Another reason I love photographing my Christmas tree is because of the little lights. It always makes me think about how each of those little lights together creates a beautiful image. One of those lights alone wouldn’t be enough to create such a beautiful image, but when each one shines together it makes a difference.
Let this season inspire you to shine your light in your home and community. The world has plenty of darkness right now, but each of us can help to create something beautiful if we let our lights shine together with those around us. Let’s share goodness, kindness, and light in our sphere of influence and push away the darkness.
Have a wonderful day with your loved ones, and may your heart be filled with peace and light!

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