Capturing your light display shouldn’t be a shot in the dark

Gear Up
Digital SLRs give you full control of the image exposure to compensate for low light. Look for one with at least 12 megapixels and a film speed range of 100 to 6 400 ISO or better, like the easy-to-use Nikon D5200 (R12 560, nikon.co.za). Invest in a durable tripod to minimise camera shake

Defy the Darkness
Select a wide aperture and a slow shutter speed on your DSLR to let in light. Skip auto mode and the flash. If you’re using a point-and-shoot, choose a mode for low light, like night landscape.

Improve Your Timing
Ideally, you want to shoot during the 10-minute window when the brightness of the sky roughly matches the output of the holiday lights, about half an hour after sunset. If you missed your chance, zoom in for a tighter shot – all that black sky is just dead space.