Photography Tips for New Year’s Snapshots Worth Celebrating!

As the final days drop from this year’s calendar, we’re shifting the focus of our New Year’s planning to the important issue of photography! We collected a few of our favorite photographic trappings and tips, so that you can capture every detail of the evening.

For a bit of expert advice, we turned to several of our in-house shutterbugs for their pointers for getting the perfect shot:

  • Be Candid — “Candid photos can instantly convey the story of an event,” says Principal Decor Photographer Joseph. “Try to become a photo ‘ninja’ who can anticipate great images and take them without being detected. In low light conditions, try to accomplish this by adopting a high ISO film or camera setting and opening your aperture (smaller F-stop number). Remember, a true ‘ninja’ never stages the shot!”
  • Practice this Card Trick – “If you do use a flash, do it wisely! You can direct and diffuse the light from a flash with a simple white business card,” says fashion and blog writer Julie. “It’s not always the most polished approach, but, in a pinch, will make indoor shots shine!”
  • F-stop It – “When shooting with a flash, choose a lower F-stop (or cloudy day setting) for a more detailed background, or a higher F-stop to create a more punchy image with a near-black background,” says ModStylist Mandy.

Another tip? Don’t forget to outfit yourself with proper equipment — if you don’t already have a signature shooter, develop your array of accessories with one of these stylish film cameras or cases!

Clockwise from the top: La Sardina Lomography Camera in El CapitanSafe Trip Diana Mini Case, Diana F+ Clone Camera in CMYK, La Sardina Lomography Camera in Cubic, and Special Edition Diana Mini Camera in Fern Green.

If film isn’t your thing, we’ve still got a few suggestions in store — employ apps such as Instagram to instantly share every sparkling detail of your ensemble and the elegant decor of the dance party, or a panorama-stitching smartphone app to record the entire setting, or create an animated .gif that relays the radiance of the festivities, like we did above!

However you choose to chronicle this year’s celebration, we can’t wait to see — don’t forget to drop us a line to show us how you welcomed 2012!

Chris

About Chris

Every day, Chris gets one to three scoops closer to his dream of an ice cream-only diet. If he’s not indulging his sweet tooth, Chris is using his child-like energy levels to play rubber snake pranks, converse with countless puns, and capture the world in photos as he walks. If you aspire to a perfect Pittsburgh accent or have a passion for periodicals, he would love to talk over afternoon coffee.

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3 Responses to Photography Tips for New Year’s Snapshots Worth Celebrating!

  1. Sabina 12/26/2011 at 3:18 pm #

    Those are great tips except I have no idea what an F-stop is. Do you have one if your camera is four to five years old?

    • em 12/26/2011 at 8:30 pm #

      an f-stop has to do with how far the aperture of your camera (kind of like the pupil of the camera’s “eye”) opens when you take a picture–how much light it lets into the camera. (obviously things aren’t quite the same mechanically with digital but the overall lightness/darkness of the picture is effected the same way by fstop setting)

      so, if you are in a low light setting, you typically want a lower fstop number…for example, f-stop 2 would be appropriate for many indoor settings. In sunlight, outside, you would want a higher number, for example, 8. If your f-stop is set too high, your picture will be too dark. Too low, and your picture will be too light.

      If you have a point and shoot camera, it’s unlikely you are able to control your f-stop manually, so you don’t have to worry about this…you can set the camera to automatic, or choose an “indoor” setting. However, if you have an SLR (analog, aka film) or DSLR (digital) camera, you can change the f-stop. I don’t know anything about digital, but in analog it’s located on the lens near where you turn to focus. I think it’s the same.

      Hope that helps!

    • Kate Z. (ModCloth) 12/27/2011 at 12:55 pm #

      In addition to what Em said, this might help get a sense of what the f-stop does:
      You know how when you squint, you can make out details that are blurry when you’re looking at them normally? Adjusting the aperture (the opening that lets light & images in – like Em said, the “pupil” of the camera’s “eye”) is kinda like squinting.

      When you put the f-stop at a higher number, you’re closing the aperture more, like squinting (the number is actually the denominator, so a higher number means a smaller aperture). That means that more things in your picture will be in focus, but the picture will be darker (assuming you don’t change anything else).

      When you put the f-stop at a lower number, you’re opening the aperture – so a lot more light comes in (great for low-light situations), but the focus in your picture won’t be as deep. So you can get the main thing you’re focusing on sharp & clear, but other stuff might be blurry.

      I hope that makes sense!

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