There are many light installations around the metro this season that are definitely a feast for the eyes. Bringing out the festive mood anywhere we go, holiday light installations provide a cool backdrop for double tap-inducing OOTDs.

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But getting that shot can be tricky, especially since the brightness that can render you as a blurry or dark silhouette. So to help you snap the perfect shot, we've enlisted the help of three professional photographers to spill their tricks when shooting against bright backgrounds. Here are tips you can easily follow!

1. Shooting

Ryan Ong says keep all your sources of light in mind. When posing in front of Christmas lights, you'll need ambient or surrounding light, like street lamps or car lights, to keep you in focus. "If the surrounding sources of light are inadequate, other than bringing professional lights or external flash, you can bring improvised lighting like a small continuous LED light," he shares. "Or the simple, steady flash light from your mobile phone will do."


He also breaks down simple camera settings you can use. "Twenty-30 seconds for the shutter is okay for landscapes, as they wont move. But if you have a model, a five to 10-second shutter is okay. Then just increase the ISO to brighten up the photo."


"Here, the shutter was around 1/125-1/200, because she was walking so I set it higher to avoid blur, and then I adjusted the ISO up to around 3200," Ryan explains.

Meanwhile, Andrea Beldua spills a nifty trick when shooting with an iPhone: "Select the point of focus, hold and drag your finger down to lower brightness. Better to take slightly underexposed photos than to take overexposed ones. You can always fix this in post process rather than getting a too bright picture and losing details of the background or outfit."

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2. Posing

Andrea shares a basic OOTD tip that works all the time. "Always take [the photo] from slightly center with the phone or camera pointing upwards. This makes you look longer and isn't too low of an angle that it isn't flattering for the face anymore." She goes on saying, "Play with reflections! Explore different angles with mirrors. They make a case for interesting shots. Interact with your reflection, experiment with the composition."



Karlo Torio adds input to this saying, "Add some details to your picture by filling empty spaces with bokeh effect using a 50mm lens with 1.8 aperture." He also reminds us to "pose a few meters away from the Christmas tree so the lighting wont be harsh, and then point your body towards the light to show the curves of your outfit so the photo wont look flat."

3. Editing


"Never over saturate your photo. I would highly recommend to desaturate the colors a bit, sharpen the details, add a small amount of clarity and choose a filter that matches the mood," Karlo says.

If you're a Snapseed user, Ryan notes to tinker with "just the basic brightness and ambient exposure settings, and add a little drama using the contrast tool."

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This story originally appeared on


* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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