After all, among all the commemorative activities, there has to be somebody who documents the event! Jokes aside, there’s actually a lot to take photos of during the magical night of December 31st. There is the blazing sky lit by a multitude of astonishing pyro flowers, glasses of champagne reflecting the whole spectacle, and the true happiness apparent on the faces of your friends! However, to escape smudgy and inconsistent results that in no way represent the night as it truly was, there are a couple of things to keep in mind! Let’s dive into the many ways one can take incredible New Year’s Eve Photos!
Dutch Angle Party Pics
Now, before we go outside, there’s a lot to take care of within your apartment (or whichever interior the event is taking place at). As the party unfolds, you might function just as the regular party photographer does; yet if there’s one thing that the party setting is prone to, it’s the experimentation with angles. An unorthodox approach will help you to include every character on the scene into the frame while simultaneously capturing the liberating vibe of the event. Find the most interestingly dressed personalities and ask them for a one-off isolated photo! This will provide an interesting visual conflict since the photo will represent loneliness within an otherwise jovial environment.
Think about employing the fisheye lens to wrap up group photos to add another exciting edge! New Year’s Eve photos are your chance to employ numerous exciting photo techniques! Pan, zoom (whilst releasing the shutter) and have some well-deserved fun with your camera!
The settings are as follows:
For low-light conditions: Aperture – f/4 or smaller, ISO – 3200. Most of the modern DSLR will spare the excessive noise. Also, the latest photo editing apps offer wonderful noise removal features!
Normal conditions: Aperture – f/9, Shutter – 1/125, ISO – around 200, Flash – depends on the light levels
New Year’s Lovebirds
We all know that there’s always a couple of lovebirds intentionally isolating themselves from the general buzz, hiding in the corners and basically celebrating the incoming year in their own company. Whilst some might think this detachment is a bit self-indulgent, for you, as the main photographer, this could serve as a great opportunity for romantic and intimate party photography. Try to capture the pair whilst still incorporating the environment, thus creating a narrative and maintaining the spirit of the occasion. A great technique would be to encourage the couple to raise their glasses. Filling up the entire frame with the couple and using their glasses as pillars will divert the viewer’s eyes to the pair. You can actually encourage them to lean in for a lovely kiss and capture the exact moment of leaning in. This will provide a wonderfully romantic photo!
Assuming that the lighting conditions are normal, the specs you should use are: Aperture f/5.6, Shutter – 1/60, ISO – 125 to 200, flash – fired (preferably gun flash)
Of course, you can also go full-Terry Richardson mode, as in the example above! Romantic by no means can’t be edgy! Still maintaining the pillars (in this case, balloons), shoot head-on and fire your flash close to the lens axis! The recommended settings are aperture – f/5.6, shutter – 1/160, ISO -100.
An integral part of it all is, of course, group photos, featuring all kinds of interesting props and the storm confetti popping out from whichever direction you turn your head to. If the time allows, look up some interesting ways of representing 2017 in your photos. Pick some confetti canons of different shades, string lights (these can function simply as a backdrop or can actually be put on the people before the lens) and, preferably, include a set of two lighting units (spotlights). You can try some experimenting with High-Speed Sync flash that, together with the colorful confetti and decorative lights, will infuse the photo with a psychedelic quality. The specs you might want to start off with: aperture – f/7.1, shutter – 1/1, ISO – 200.
Now there isn’t a specific technique to perpetuate these little miracle bonfires; you can actually go full lo-fi and still acquire some really beautiful results. However, there are some tips to keep in mind if you fancy creating those wave motion long-exposure light streaks. Your shutter speed cannot go below a half second, and a spare, off-camera flash is recommended to avoid the subject (the one holding the sparkler) from getting blurry. Assuming that you’re photographing in a dark environment, the most optimal specs would be aperture – f/2.8, shutter – 1/2, ISO – 100. The shutter speed can go all the way up to 3 seconds, whilst the aperture can go one stop down to f/4.0. Remember that these stats apply only if you intend to create light drawings! For regular photos of lit up sparklers, increase the shutter speed to a considerable 1/800 and turn on the ISO level to reduce the dimness.
Probably the most exciting category regarding New Year’s Eve photos, fireworks are also completely open to your interpretation. However, there are also some provisions to stick to in order to acquire high-quality imagery. A recommended prerequisite is a tripod since fireworks tend to run for several minutes and require a prolonged, at times remotely, controlled action. The other thing to keep in mind is a low ISO level. First off, there’s no need for an increased ISO level since the darkness is essentially what makes photos of fireworks so effective. Secondly, the dark shade of blue is where the noise likes to accumulate, so make sure to turn off Auto ISO. Otherwise, it will try to automatically set a high ISO level to compensate for the darkness. Start with 50 (ISO) and try going up to 100, only stop at 200.
It is advisable to manually set the focus before anything has actually exploded. Once it’s done, turn off the autofocus so it won’t frantically refocus on everything that’s going on during the spectacle. A successful angle and distance might allow you to maintain the same focus for the whole procedure. Try out different aperture settings, yet try to stay in the interval between f/5.6 and f/8. The longer the exposure, the more prominent the trails of each explosion will be! Also, despite everyone still partying, it is important to go out and scout for the good spots prior to anything actually starting. Don’t worry, everyone, including yourself, will be grateful for such an act later on!
My-Picture.co.uk wishes a superb New Year’s celebration and a 2017 that surpasses every expectation in the most positive possible sense! Live, love, improve and don’t forget to take photos in the process! After all, we have to see things in a different perspective to truly appreciate the change we’ve gone through over the years! Happy 2017!