Our thanks to Lesley Pattinson of Newbury based, Memories Thru a Lens for this Guest Blog.
Why not follow Lesley's great helpful tips on how to take photographs of Christmas lights, for some great memories of your own...
"To photograph Christmas lights you don't necessarily need an expensive DSLR camera, a compact can work just as well. It's all about a few tricks and the time of day you choose to take your photograph.
So here are a few tips which I hope will help you.
• The best time to photograph is before it gets completely dark. Dusk is the perfect time to photograph lights because if you shoot when its completely dark, you will either get the lights or the surroundings correctly exposed, not both. Dusk will also allow the sky to be a beautiful shade of blue which will really enhance the lights. (Dawn will also work if you can get out of bed that early on a cold winter morning!)
• Arrive early, get to your location before the sun sets so you can set up and be ready. just as the sun has set take a test photo to see how the light are looking. Keep taking photo's until its dark and you get the prefect shot!
• If possible set your cameras white balance to "tungsten" this will help your lights gleam crystal white or whatever colour they are, and the sky have a deep shade of blue.
• Use the surroundings to frame the picture, include the sky to capture the soft glow of the lights or maybe find some tree's to frame the image.
• Turn off the flash, what happen when you use a flash is that you light up what ever is directly in front of you and put the lights you are trying to photograph in darkness.
• If possible increase the ISO, set it to about 400 this will help eliminate movement blur when you use a slow shutter speed.
• Use is a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod, place your camera on a table or object. If there’s nothing available to put your camera on, try leaning against a tree or a pole to help keep yourself steady.
• Use a cable release or shutter remote. If you don't have one of these use the camera self timer, this avoids shaking the camera as you press the shutter release.
• Put your camera on aperture priority, and set the lowest f number your lens will allow, for example f/2.8 up to f/4.6.
• Practice with several exposures. Once the magic formula has been found for that particular scene, take a variety of angles of the Christmas lights.
• When it gets fully dark, put you camera away and enjoy the lights!
Lesley Pattinson, Memories Thru a Lens