How to get great night-time photos of holiday lights

Posted by on Dec 19, 2007 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

We’ve seen some great photos of night-time holiday lights on Photobucket. So we asked one of our favorite photographers, Scott Proposki, how to get those great shots. Because it’s kinda hard. Here are his suggestions:

How to Get Great Night-Time Photos of Holiday Lights

You have an awesome digital camera, but you still can’t get good night-time photos. Sound familiar?

If so, you might want to try using a “tripod.” That’s, right, a tripod. Not an iPod. A tripod is a three-legged stand that will attach to most, if not all, digital cameras, to keep your camera from shaking, which it normally does when you hold it in your hand. If you look at the bottom of your camera, you will see a place to insert your tripod.

What does a tripod do? Basically, it helps keep your camera still, which is especially important during long exposures, like capturing holiday lighting displays. If you’re frustrated by those blurry, weird-looking photos, you know what I mean!

You’re taking a long-exposure photo when you hold down the exposure button for longer than the usual split second. It may be for 10 seconds, a minute, or longer. Some cameras have AC adapters if you want to take long-exposure photos lasting more than six hours!  Check your brand and model for optional items.

You can create photos in the darkest night if you set your camera for a long exposure time, then mount the camera on a tripod and place it on solid, flat ground. By the way: Make sure you have charged batteries before you start. There is nothing more frustrating than taking photos with your new digital camera then having the batteries die!

For me, the best time to take photos is right after sunset. It’s perfect! The sky gives off this dark-blue background that makes even a so-so photo look good! At this time of year, it gets dark very quickly. So head out early, at least an hour before sunset, and plan out your route to the best lighting displays. And remember to back up your photos and post them on Photobucket. Half the joy of taking good photos is sharing them with family and friends. Enjoy!



About Scott Proposki

Scott Proposki, creator of Photos In A Minute and, from Lawrence, MA, has created some of the most exciting trade show booths for clients such as National Geographic, The Gillette Company, Sports Illustrated, Warner Bros, HBO,, and Microsoft.

To see other photos by Scott on Photobucket, go here:


  1. saher
    December 27, 2007

    thumbs up! its a wonderful service 🙂

  2. Kathy Rampy
    December 20, 2007

    Everything Scott does is top-notch!!! Keep up the great work!!!