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Recently, two different Christmas parades were presented in the Salem area that I wanted to photograph for stock. Both highlighted lights as the main attraction, thus they happened at night. I’ve always found events like this to work best when I photograph handheld. So, I needed to come up with a technique for this.

Here’s what I came up with. Arrive before the event starts, and when the ambient light approaches the level it will be during the event, run some experiments. Set your exposure on manual mode and ISO to one of your highest settings, I used 6400 on my 5d II for these images. Then mess around until you get the glow to the lights you want in the images. You should probably check the display occasionally, adjustments might be advisable through the night.

I was quite pleased with the results I achieved with this technique.

Check back tomorrow, when I show you some stuff I did from a tripod the night of the boat parade.