Whether you’re heading down to the event for a solo YOLO or a night out with your squad, you’ll to want to take some snaps of the spectacular lights. We’ve got a few tips to help you take the best photo possible.

Winter is here and so is Vivid. If you’re out of the loop, Vivid is one of the biggest celebrations of light and sound in the world. Last year 1.7 million people came to iconic venues in Sydney like Circular Quay, Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Darling Harbour and Martin Place to check out 80 epic light installations.

Whether you’re heading down to the event for a solo YOLO or a night out with your squad, you’ll to want to take some snaps of the spectacular lights. But with the bright lights, dark night and hundreds of other spectators, it can be difficult to snap a really good pic. We’ve got a few tips to help you take the best photo possible.

Don’t Zoom

Vivid is busy, so it can be hard to get right next to your favourite light installation. But whatever you do, don’t use the zoom on your smartphone! Only amateurs with their first phone use the zoom – you should know better. Keep the quality of your image high by moving closer to the feature you want to capture or by cropping your image after you’ve taken the photo.

It’s all about “Location, Location, Location”

Choose your locations wisely and decide what it is you actually want to capture. Do you want to take a photo of the Opera House lit up like a Christmas Tree, or are you more interested in the bustling atmosphere of the event? Make sure you try and get the same shot from different angles and don’t forget to get creative. Try visiting different and lesser-known vantage points like the MCA rooftop, The Glenmore Hotel, Luna Park, Hickson Road or Bradfield Park.

If you don’t want crowds in your photos, head down midweek or when everyone has left – but don’t forget that the lights go off at 11pm.

Don’t twist and Shake

One of the most important things to remember when capturing the lights of Vivid is that you are shooting in low light, so it’s important to keep your camera as still as possible. The best way to keep a camera still is to take it out of your hands.

Don’t want to join the selfie stick army or carry a mini tripod around? Resting your phone on something like a seat, rail or your takeaway coffee cup can be just as effective. You can also reduce any extra shake by finding an alternative to pushing the shutter button on the screen – set a timer or use the volume up button works for most phones.

Don’t over expose

Your exposure is really important when you’re shooting bright lights. Luckily with smartphones, adjusting the exposure is easy - just tap the brightest spot in the frame and voila! You’ve taken the exposure off the brightest object with one tap.

Put a Filter on it

When all else fails, there’s always a filter. Play around with your photos after you’ve taken them using different apps like Instagram, Snapseed or VSCO cam. Most photo editing apps will allow you to play with contrast, saturation, brightness, shadows, warmth, and sharpness. Whatever photo editing app you use, get familiar with it before you go to Vivid so you can edit on the fly.

Avoid getting flashy

Seriously, don’t even think about touching that flash. The flash on your phone isn't like a real camera flash – it’s more like a torch so it will change the exposure of your photo (and not for the better). There should be enough of a light source from the Vivid installations to light your photo, but if you’re not sure then just double up – take one photo with the flash and one without.Or, get down to Circular Quay at twilight to take advantage of the remaining natural light.

That’s it, my tips on how to get the best pictures from the 2016 Vivid Festival. I’d love to hear some of your tips and trick about shooting for Vivid, or even like to sneak a peek at some of your best piccies. Comment below!

Cheers,
Mariah – amaysim's content gal

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