Most holiday revellers are fortunate enough to have at least one individual in their midst who is eager to document the festivities with their camera, notes Nikon Canada. You, perhaps? If so, here are Nikon Canada’s holiday photo tips to help in your quest to compile the perfect holiday photo album.
• Get your gear in order: Nothing is more frustrating than missing that perfect holiday shot because you’ve run out of battery power or space on your memory card.
Tip: Charge your battery the night before. Most point-and-shoot camera batteries will allow you to take around 300 shots, while DSLRs will capture anywhere from 600 to 900 shots.
For many of us, this is plenty of juice to get the job done.
If you think you need more, consider investing in a spare battery (and make sure it’s charged). That way you won’t waste time scouting for a power source or waiting for your battery to recharge.
Deciding which size of memory card to purchase is dependent upon many factors including the size of picture files, type of camera, and the number of megapixels on the camera’s sensor.
For example, an 8GB card will store approximately 1,600 medium-sized “JPEG normal” images when using a 24-megapixel DSLR.
As a precaution, it’s always a good idea to keep a spare memory card in your camera case.
• Get that perfect food pic: Many people love taking and showing off pictures of their holiday feasts. However, making food look as delicious as it tastes can be tricky.
Tip: Play around with natural and artificial light sources to achieve the best light to make that plum pudding look as scrumptious as you know (or hope) it is.
Consider using a camera with incredible low-light performance, or even adding a flash unit that allows you to manipulate light by bouncing it off of nearby walls or ceilings.
With the right lighting, the colour and texture of food will be captured with everything you remember.
• Get that perfect group shot: The more subjects you have posing for a photo, the more likely it is that you’ll catch someone with their eyes closed or in mid-sentence.
Tip: Use a camera with a high-speed continuous capture mode with a full autofocus (AF) mode to track fast-moving subjects to increase your chances of capturing that perfect shot with everyone’s eyes open and focused on the camera.
With a Nikon 1, consider using Smart Photo Selector mode. This feature helps capture those critical moments other cameras may miss by taking 20 shots with a single shutter press and presenting you with the five best shots.
It’s also important to shoot at a high frames-per-second (fps) rate to capture as many shots as possible, ensuring your subjects get back to the holiday revelry ASAP.
• Get that perfect angle: When photographing subjects, capturing them at their eye level can really transform your photo. Pictures of gifts being unwrapped become a lot more engaging when a lens is placed right in the action.
Tip: When taking pictures of kids and pets, get down to their level. This vantage point will evoke a sense of intimacy in your images and make the action pop.
Consider using a camera equipped with a swivel monitor that can tilt, flip and turn to just about any position so you can remain comfortable while shooting from almost any angle.
• Get that priceless reaction: Sometimes, a still shot just isn’t enough to capture the emotions of particular moments. Many digital cameras are now built with video-recording capabilities to capture the joy and excitement during the holidays.
Tip: Capture videos to complement your still images. This mix will allow you and your loved ones to re-live all those pleasant (and maybe even awkward) memories of the holiday season. Or, consider blending still images with a short video clip by taking advantage of Motion Snapshot technology (FYI, exclusive to the Nikon 1 line). This function captures moments by combining motion, stills and sound to create a short, slow-motion video that ends with a single defining still image.
• Get the kids involved: The holiday season is especially exciting for the little ones at your holiday gathering – let the magic of the season be seen through their eyes.
Tip: Give yourself a break and let the little ones take the photographer reigns for a bit. You may be surprised by the moments they capture.
A durable, easy-to-use point-and-shoot is your best bet (you may not want to hand your HD-SLR over to just anyone!).
• Get sharing: All too often, we capture amazing moments just to have them sit on our memory cards or home computers. Looking through old and new photo collections is fun year-round, but the holidays really make us yearn to share those priceless shots with loved ones.
Tip: Why delay? Share your images with friends, family and your social network on the spot.
Everyone will appreciate being able to enjoy your holiday photos while we’re still in the season. There are a number of digital cameras with Wi-Fi capabilities that simplify the process of sharing high-quality images onto Google+, Facebook and Twitter, and sending shots directly to your smartphone or tablet.
• Savour the moment!: Don’t let the holiday season pass you by because you’re too busy looking at the LCD screen on your camera.
Keeping your eyes glued to that screen might cause you to miss out on other photo opportunities or more importantly, precious holiday moments.
Tip: Review your shots after all the action is over! Avoid making a habit out of looking at every photo right after you take it. Simply soak in the moments and take photos when it feels natural.