Is your yard decked out with enough lights to make Clark Griswold envious? Upload a picture of your holiday lights at http://bit.ly/TCHlightcontest. Readers will vote for the winner. The prize is a $75 gift certificate from Washington Hardware & Furniture in Kennewick.
Submissions are accepted through Sunday.
The Herald will be running a daily photo featuring holiday light displays on Page A2 starting Saturday.
Herald photographer Kai-Huei Yau offers some tips for getting a good photo:
-- Shoot your photos at dusk. The last lingering light of the day will help your photos. Waiting until dark makes it hard to balance the deep shadows with the bright lights.
-- Use a tripod. This will let you use slower shutter speeds and smaller apertures. A slow shutter speed will let you capture all the lights in an animated display. Smaller apertures will give the lights those twinkly little light points. It's helpful to use a cable release to prevent shaking the camera when you press the shutter, but if you don't have one, use your camera's self-timer. Many have a two-second option that will let the camera stop moving before the picture is taken.
-- Find ways to fill your frame with lights. Displays are often meant to be seen straight on from the street, but that can make for boring photos. Find angles to layer the different lights together and make a more interesting image that's filled with lights. Don't be afraid to zoom in. Shooting with a telephoto lens compresses the appearance of space and doesn't make the lights appear so spread out.
-- Kai-Huei Yau writes a blog every Friday about photojournalism ethics, sharing outtakes and behind-the-scenes stories. Read it at tricityherald.com/kai.