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Tips For Great Holiday Photography

Head Outdoors for Great Holiday Photography

Knowing that the next several weeks will be filled with lots of gatherings and celebrations with friends, we thought we’d help a young family get a head start to creating some great family photos. A trip to the Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm in Mattituck, New York, was a great way to ease into the season. We packed a Nikon D5500, plus a few extra lenses, and made our way to a memorable afternoon.

Outdoor family photo shot with and without fill-flash

Adding fill-flash is a simple way to make a good photograph even better. The photo on the right was captured with fill-flash, which fills in harsh shadows for a balanced exposure. Photo by Lindsay Silverman.

Glow Like an Angel

Ever find that you are confronted with a shoot situation where your subjects have loads of backlighting and faces fall into shadowy areas? Even though it seems counter-intuitive, professionals employ this technique all the time. Use the pop-up flash on your DSLR, Nikon 1 or COOLPIX camera, to bring what’s called “fill-flash.” This addition of light helps even out exposure and brightens shadowy regions.

Nikon D5500 photo of a father with son and daughter smiling.

Get in close to capture wide smiles. Photo by Lindsay Silverman.

Go Close Up

Some photos just beg for intimacy. Check your depth of field (aperture setting) and be selective about point of focus, then move in close. Take a few shots that fill the frame with personalities. If you keep a bit of the background in the frame this usually helps set the scene and adds to the story. Of course be watchful about how objects are positioned in the background—avoid things that jut out of heads, cause distractions or don’t fit with your holiday theme.

Nikon D5500 photo of kids running among the trees

For action photos, boost the shutter speed to at least 1/1000 of a second or switch to Continuous Mode. Photo by Lindsay Silverman.

Freeze the Frame

If you’re photographing younger kids you know they rarely sit still for a pose. Boost the shutter speed up to 1/1000 of a second or higher, or switch to Continuous Mode and get ready for spontaneity. When in Continuous Mode, the Nikon D5500 will capture five frames per second.

Share an Early Present

Using one of the newer Nikon cameras that has Wi-Fi® capability? Share an early present with family and friends. While you snap away, this functionality transfers your selected photos to a compatible smartphone or tablet*. Head to your mobile device, select a few images, then instantly share with loved ones via email or social media. Call it an early present.

*For information regarding product compatibility visit www.nikonusa.com/wificompatibility

Macro photo of water drops on pine needles

Look for interesting subjects to photograph, to tell a more comprehensive story, like this macro photo of water on a pine needle. Photo by Lindsay Silverman.

Look at Things in New Ways

A swap to a different lens is a fast way to bring variety to your pictures. Grab plenty of memorable family images, but also frame some environmental shots. These will trigger even more memories and help tell your story. Try a few macro shots. We created this look using the AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR.

Recommended Gear:

D5500 18-140mm VR Lens Kit
AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR

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