Thinking of things to photograph this winter should be a breeze if you’ve been following our Photography Tips section lately. Here is another you can add to your ever-growing list, store fronts or store windows. If you’re a Grinch this year and decided not to put decorations up at your house you can hop in the bummer mobile and head on over to any town that doesn’t hate Christmas as much as you. For the rest of us, your probably running out of decorations around the house to photograph so you might as well head to the nearest town as well.
This is a great chance to work on your camera skills, nailing down the correct white balance, aperture, ISO, and shutter speed can prove to be difficult if you go at the right time… after the sun has set. This excursion should give you plenty of time to test out the different metering settings on your camera as well as the white balance, exposure, and ISO bracketing.
For the photographs above I shot handheld (using a tripod would have been ideal but a pain in the butt). My ISO was 2000, shutter speed was 1/20, and my aperture was set at f/4.5 so I could blur (bokeh) the background ever so slightly. I didn’t use exposure bracketing or ISO bracketing because I was cold and didn’t want to change the settings, I figured I could adjust it in Lightroom if it was awful. If I could do it again I would have set the camera before hand on ISO bracketing.
The only two cameras I’ve been using right now are the Olympus OMD EM5 and the Nikon D600, luckily both of them are great at higher ISO’s. For this shot, as well as the others on this page, I used the Nikon D600. I knew that the lighting was going to be very difficult and this is one of the advantages of the full frame cameras, their sensors are excellent in low light conditions. At ISO 2000 there was very little noise, nothing worth adjusting in post processing. The lens I used was the Nikon 24-85mm kit lens.