Tips on How to Shoot Stunning New Year’s Eve Photos

New Year’s Eve is a very special occasion because it marks the end of the old year and the birth of a new one. During this night, people gather to celebrate and mark the moment. Some have dinner with the family while others party with friends. Firework displays decorate the sky and the countdown to the new year is anticipated. This is one occasion that is celebrated by almost every country in the world and the global excitement is contagious, and recorded by TV and radio programs in local and cable channels. 

For both amateur and professional photographers, New Year’s Eve is one night when picture taking is a must. There are lots of photo opportunities presented since the event has great visual appeal. Here are several ways to capture outstanding New Year’s Eve images:

Take pictures of the fireworks – New Year’s Eve is automatically associated with fireworks. Whether you are watching a big pyro production by professionals or your children playing with sparklers in the garden, get a lot of shots with fireworks since they are truly gorgeous subjects to shoot. To shoot fireworks, the shutter needs to be left open for at least a few seconds to let in sufficient light. Take some test shots first so you can properly adjust the exposure settings for the low-light scenario. More advanced cameras  will have options for manual exposure control but if you have a regular point and shoot, use the ‘fireworks’ mode, with is a standard camera preset. However, do not expect too much from that since it still might not be enough to capture far-off explosions. A tripod is also needed to keep the camera steady so it can capture clean and defined light streaks. Read here for more tips on shooting fireworks. 

Play with camera angles – aside from the usual angle which is shooting at eye level, experiment with other kinds such as a low viewpoint with the lens tilted upwards or a bird’s eye view from the top of the stairs or a second storey building.  When taking photographs at New Year’s Eve parties or other instances when there are crowds, a simple change of camera angle also means a change of perspective which can greatly improve an ordinary composition. For instance, for group shots you can shoot from a higher level to include everyone in the frame instead of stepping back as far as you can (which can be a challenge in small interiors).

Protect your gear – this one isn’t much about how to take a shot but is still a very important point to remember in an occasion such as this. You will most likely be around crowds at one point or other during New Year’s Eve and also in a low-light situation. This scenario is rife for accidents waiting to happen if you are not careful, such as someone bumping into you and spilling their drink on your beloved camera. Hold your camera with two hands when taking pictures and stay away from the rowdier areas where inebriated revelers might accidentally trip on you or your gear. Wear your camera strap around your neck or twined around your wrist (if you’re using a point and shoot) to lessen the risk of the camera dropping to the floor in the event that it slips from your hands. 

Capture the mood – this event is always considered to be fun-filled, exciting, loud and full of laughter. Try to visually capture the atmosphere by shooting people in the midst of some activity, use the vivid colors of decorations as well as available or ambient light to further add to the mood. There is another side to New Year’s Eve, however. Although it is usually noisy and full of light spectacles, people also have quiet moments within all that uproar. Aside from shooting fireworks, also shoot the people watching them. Couples hugging each other, children looking up at the sky in silent awe, solitary people who stand in the corner away from the crowd, these moments evoke strong emotional appeal that are well worth recording in a photograph. 

Like other holiday shoots, it is easy to overlook having yourself photographed. Remember to include yourself in some shots by asking someone to take your picture or use your tripod and timer instead. Taking photos during New Year’s Eve can be a very rewarding experience with the amount of wonderful photos you will have by the end of the night. 

This entry was posted on Friday, December 10th, 2010 at 8:19 am and is filed under Articles, Event Photography, Photography Genre. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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