Christmas light photography: a cautionary tale

So I had the idea that I should go out and use my camera to take pictures of Christmas lights.  I was inspired after seeing a blog post capturing beautiful pictures of Christmas in the city.  I need to be prepared for my opportunity to capture similar images.  I did learn some valuable lessons.

  1. Higher ISO seems to be better for outdoor Christmas lights at night pictures.
  2. Don’t pick the coldest night of the year to do this.
  3. 5pm is NOT the right time to venture out.  Yes it is dark, but yes it is also the time all the neighbors come home from work.  Think it through.  Do you really want to be taking pictures of someone’s home (even if it is like Christmas threw up in their lawn) when they pull into the driveway?   I’m pretty sure I am now known as the neighborhood creeper.

    exhibit A on why you should use a higher ISO. My camera's ISO setting was pretty low - only 400 here. Captured the lights great, but you can't see the tree at all...

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