This is the start of a new series of photography challenges that are designed to be done in and around your own home. But the twist this time around is they all have a holiday theme!
Are you ready to have some fun? Then let’s get started!
Shine bright – twinkle little lights
Okay it’s time to get to work on this challenge and think about what you can photograph that sparkles, twinkles, and shines.
Here are a few ideas of what to photograph:
- The lights on your Christmas tree (try bokeh or zooming, more on this below)
- Sparklers or candles
- Holiday decorations that light up
- Fireworks if they are having any in your area
- Fire itself like in your fireplace, a match, fire spinning (safely!), etc.
- Neon lights or signs
- Stars in the sky (night sky shots or try star trails)
- Light painting
I’d love to see if you can come up with any other fun ways to do this challenge. Try one – or try a few. The idea is to just do some photography.
Tutorials if you need some help
Here are links to a few related tutorials if you need some assistance photographing these subjects.
Shoot Wide Open Photography Challenge (using a wide aperture to create that bokeh like you see in the image below.
Three Special Effects for Night Photography – tips on how to do light painting, sparklers, and fire spinning.
The image below was literally shot in my own living room with a sparkler from the dollar store!
Tips for Low Light Photography – if you’re shooting in the dark, make sure you read this article.
9 Tripod Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Images and Putting Your Camera at Risk – make sure you are using a tripod. Most of these subjects will likely require a fairly long exposure so you will need a tripod to keep things sharp.
Light painting tips
Video: How to Light Paint a Flower in Total Darkness – one technique for doing light painting like an art form.
Night Photography Quick Tip – Adding Light – a different approach where you use light painting to illuminate the subject.
Tips and Tools for Light Painting – Review of Light Painting Brushes – some of the tools that I use for light painting.
Star trails and light trails
How to Shoot Star Trails and Sample Images for You to Practice Stacking – learn what you need to know to shoot star trails and stack them.
Guide to Photographing Light Trails at Night – camera settings and tips for capturing images like the one below of car trails at night.
Adding movement to your twinkling lights
There are a few ways to incorporate or capture movement when it comes to lights. I already covered two of them above actually – car trails and star trails.
But there are a few more techniques. You could try zooming or intentional camera movement during the exposure. Or actually moving the light source (like light painting or fire spinning)
NOTE: Please always exercise great caution when attempting to do fire spinning. I’ve outlined how to do it safely in this article – CLICK HERE.
NOTE: Safe places to do fire spinning include ponds, snowy fields, a beach with no trees, large concrete area – you need to be well away (50 feet) from any buildings, trees, or anything that could catch fire including humans and animals.
The danger is real! Please take every precaution to make sure you do it safely. If you aren’t sure, don’t do it!
If fire spinning is outside your capabilities or comfort/safety zone, you could also try zooming during the exposure.
Read this for more on that topic: Create an Abstract Image Using Intentional Blur – Photo Challenge.
Holiday Photography Challenges
Overcome confinement and boredom with our holiday photography challenge series. Choose any of the challenges from the following:
- Challenge #1 – You’re reading it
- Holiday Photography Challenge #2 – Traditions
Time to get sparkly!
Okay now it’s time for you to get started shooting sparkly and twinkly lights. This is the only time shiny object syndrome is a good thing!
I can’t wait to see what you photograph for this challenge. Please share your ideas and images in the comment area below.Cheers,