3 Tips for Capturing the Magic of Christmas Morning

As a kid, Christmas morning is an event you look forward to months in advance, with excitement and anticipation building to a climax Christmas Eve making it difficult to sleep. But once morning comes, all that anticipation turns to joy and amazement as the presents under the tree are surveyed. Following are a few tips for maximizing your Christmas morning photography.

1) Grab your wide angle prime lens or an f/2.8 max aperture general purpose zoom.

Christmas morning festivities will generally play out in your living room or den, places where a wide aperture (f/1.4 - f/2.8) will be advantageous for obtaining action-stopping shutter speeds while avoiding the use of flash or noise-inducing high ISOs. Using wide angle focal lengths will allow you to capture subjects as well as their surroundings to best document the seasonal cheer and decor.

If you don't have a wide angle, f/2.8 max aperture (or wider) lens, then use [preferably bounce] flash to achieve action stopping shutter speeds while keeping your ISO low. Note that you may want to gel your flash with a 1/4, 1/2 or full CTO (orange) if the room is lit with warm, tungsten bulbs so that the color of the light emanating from your flash matches that of the ambient light in the room.

2) Capture video as well as still photos.

One of the greatest aspects of today's DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is that they can be used to capture high quality video as well as stills. And since most of Canon's recent cameras feature Dual Pixel CMOS AF, creating high quality videos has never been easier, so don't miss the opportunity to create a video highlight reel of the morning's events by capturing some video clips in addition to stills.

And if you own a 70D/80D or higher-level camera, you can make the process of capturing video clips easier by setting different exposure and camera settings via your camera's Custom Mode so that you can quickly switch between photos and stills without missing a beat.

3) Set up a timelapse camera in the corner of the room.

Want to be part of the fun instead of behind a camera all morning? Set your tripod up in the corner of the room (possibly with a second camera if that option is available), use manual focus and manual exposure variables and set your camera's intervalometer to capture a timelapse sequence of the morning's events. With a "set it and forget it" approach, you are free to join in while capturing the entire family as the fun unfolds.

As Christmas day rapidly approaches, there will be many tasks calling for your attention. Having the photo plan ready well in advance means that the capture of your important memories will not be sidelined. Starting creating your plan today. That may include purchasing or renting gear in the time that remains before Christmas. Check out the site's index for a list of relevant reviews to help get the most out of your Christmas Day photography.

Posted: 12/13/2017 8:40:33 AM ET   Posted By: Sean
Posted to: Canon News, Sony News    Category: Photo Tips and Stories
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