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Jason spent the 00s living abroad in Asia.  He returned to the Tampa Bay area in 2009 and began Jason Collin Photography.  When not behind his camera, Jason is an avid movie watcher and enjoys being outdoors with his adopted puppy, Kiki.  Jason is left-handed & a night owl. FULL BIO

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Photography Tip use Christmas lights for portrait lighting

In December (and even November) holiday and Christmas lights begin showing up hanging from trees, houses and windows.  Another use for Christmas lights is as portrait lighting.  As seen in the above example, I wrapped a string of Christmas lights around a couple from head to toe (but not over their faces) and also the mantle of the fireplace.  I used no speedlights and there was only the dimmest of ambient light coming into the living room.  In order to get enough exposure I used a shutter speed of 0.8 seconds with my camera tripod mounted.  I asked the couple to stand as perfectly still as possible as small movement would create blur with that long of an exposure.  

Portrait using Christmas lights for creative lighting - Nikon D300 tripod mounted with Tamron 17-50mm lens @ f/5.6 ISO 200 0.8 secSo for creative portrait lighting, try using Christmas lights.  Be sure and put a link to your photos in the comments below!

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Reader Comments (2)

The idea using Christmas lights for portrait lighting actually works. Especially the black and white picture, I feel that the lights really do help with highlighting the people in the photo, so a very good and useful tip that you have highlighted here.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralphalights

Thank you....I agree in the B&W shot the lights pop a bit more.

April 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterJason Collin

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