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Photography Tips for New Year’s Eve

Techniques/ Tips

Photography Tips for New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is a night of exhilaration. It’s a time to let loose, have some fun and make your first memories of the New Year with family, friends, and probably a few strangers.

As we say goodbye to 2014 and ring in 2015, here are a few tips for the dedicated New Year’s Eve photographer.

Survey your location

If you’re going to a huge public celebration like Sydney New Year’s Eve or the Ball Drop at Times Square, try to scope out your spot a day or two before the madness. This will help you visualize compositional aspects of your shots (such as foreground and background) and identify potential challenges. It’ll also give you a leg up on navigating the site come party time.


Image courtesy of Entertainment

Ditch the flash

If you make it through New Year’s Eve without ever switching on your flash, consider it a success. This means you’ve used both the darkness and ambient lighting of New Year’s Eve to capture true nightlife shots. Besides, if you’re photographing people at a party, your flash will blow them out. And if you’re shooting in a crowd, it’ll annoy everyone around you. Work with what you’ve got.


Easy on the flash, bro. Image courtesy of Digital Photography School

Another tip on lighting

Keep bright, colorful, flashing, flickering and twinkling lights behind you – especially when photographing people. Otherwise the light will overpower your shot and you’ll be left with uninspiring semi-silhouettes.


Image courtesy of MS Event Group

Capture fireworks

A professional shot of fireworks is as awe-inspiring as seeing the display in person. Complete stillness is essential to photographing fireworks as you use longer shutter speeds, so you’ll want to use a tripod and remote release. If you don’t want to lug around the extra gear, you can try either finding a place to set the camera (dangerous) or leaning on something and being as still as possible, but the results won’t be as desirable.

Consider using bulb mode to hold the shutter from when a firework takes off until its trails disintegrate. Digital Photography School offers a full guide to photographing fireworks here.


Image courtesy of

Be creative and fire away

This is a great night to be trigger-happy; photograph anything and everything multiple times to capture the night. Pull all the tricks out of the bag and experiment with new techniques. Exposure Guide suggests everything from composing unorthodox camera angles and using high-speed sync to dragging the shutter for a blur effect.


Image courtesy of Exposure Guide

Now it’s time to celebrate and kick off 2015 with some great photos. Happy New Year, Duggal friends – hit us on Twitter at @DuggalNYC with your best New Year’s Eve shots!