Hello! Found your blog surfing through the internet for information on how to take good pics of christmas lights! Yours are wonderful, and Im hoping you can help me. Im very new to photography, but with the christmas season I have been trying to take pics of all the beautiful lights…sadly…all my pics are coming out Orange or gray…with very little color…I have no idea what Im doing wrong..I use a Nikon d80 with a DX 18/135 f/3.5 lens…..do i need a diffrent lens? Are my settings all messed up??? I have one of those EXPODISC’s that I use to set my WB before my shots…but no good…..anyway…I love you pics and any suggestions would be great!
I’m guessing it’s a WB issue. WB settings are used to cut out color cast due to using different types of light sources. For instance, if you’re trying to make an image of a snowman, if it were lit by tungsten lights (standard lightbulb), he would have a yellowish or orangish tint to him, since tungsten light is very yellow. If he were lit by fluorescent lights, he would have a greenish tint, since that is the normal color of such a light. Outside in the shade, your poor snowman would look quite blue. Try setting the camera to “Auto WB”, or “tungsten” (on my Canon equipment the icon is a standard looking lightbulb). It might be that your custom setting of the WB is reading the colors of the Christmas lights as being a color cast that needs to be counteracted.
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