Ready for your close-up? If there's one thing that can be counted on at this time of year with the parade of holiday parties and outings, it's the Kodak moments. Get the most out of your camera and save every memory with these tips for taking the perfect holiday picture.
- All of the lights — When capturing holiday lights in a dark setting, start with a tripod to ensure the camera is steady. If the beautiful bokeh (blurred) effect is what you're after, then use a low aperture setting such as f/1.8 to keep the focus on the subject in the front of the frame, giving the lights the blurred look you're after.
- Burst right in — When exchanging gifts or laughs, there's not a second you want to miss. Switch the camera into burst (continuous) mode, so you'll get the microseconds before and after the reveal of a big surprise.
- Think macro — A whole lot of festive ornamentation goes into making the holiday memorable, so be sure to get up close and personal with tablescapes, ornaments, and a mistletoe or two with your camera's macro setting. On a point-and-shoot, this is usually denoted with a flower symbol, and if you have the advantage of a DSLR macro lens, then make sure to tote that in your bag. For iPhoneographers, attachable macro lenses are available, and it's a good time to get familiar with the benefits of the iPhone's HDR camera settings.
- Capture the unposed moments — Sure, you want to put your friends' and families' best faces forward by snapping their best smiles, but more often it's the unposed moments you'll want to remember. Don't just wait for "cheese" to bring the camera out; rather, capture the teamwork required for making tamales and the impromptu Mariah Carey dance parties that happen this time of year.