Holiday lights and photography in HMB

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Sun, December 12, 2010


Holiday Lights in HMB and Photography

Where are the best Christmas lights in the HMB area? Could you answer via comments?

I’ve tried photographing holiday lights before, but they did not come out as well as I had hoped. After some research:

Best Guides:

http://www.nyip.com/ezine/holidays/holidaylights.html

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/12/how-to-photograph-christmas-lights.html

http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/327296/how_photograph_christmas_lights/

Here are some of my shots from the Coastside:

Greg Edwards

 

 

Greg Edwards

 

 

Greg Edwards

 

 

Main notes from above:

  •     Best time to do photography is in twilight, not in full dark. Best when sky is still fairly light.
  •     Try shooting from low up to capture sky (unlike most landscapes).

Further notes:

  •     Tripod!!!
  •     Many of the above were written when most lights were not LEDs. In 2010 many displays boast of being all LED. In this case I am not sure of White Balance setting to use.
  •     Try zooming during the exposure.
  •     Try hand held and side-to-side movement.

If you are not an expert, here are a few more hints to follow if you camera allows:

  •     Use RAW, not Jpeg
  •     Use Manual Exposure, Aperture (suggest f8 or f11), Focus
  •     A wider angle lens would probably be better than a telephoto shot

Best local sites:

Base URL http://www.LightsOfTheValley.com/Default.asp

Must Sees (from above) include:

  •   1405 Glacier Dr San Jose, Santa Clara County, 95118 - near 85 and 87 intersection
  •   2976 Taper Ave in: Santa Clara - between Lawrence and San Thomas, north of El Camino
  •   1168 Tangerine Way in: Sunnyvale - s of El Camino, w of Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd
  •   757 Sheraton Dr in: Sunnyvale - s of 92, e of 85

San Carlos Special Area:
1932 Eucalyptus Ave
1953 Eucalyptus Ave
1957 Eucalyptus Ave
1962 Eucalyptus Ave

And for something different:
http://www.digital-photography-school.com/20-christmas-lights-photos-with-a-twist

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfurry/2094805949/in/photostream/ et. al.