The best time to take pictures of outdoor Christmas lights is in the snow right after sunset. That way the camera can record a good balance of interesting light.
During the day, the holiday lights will often be overwhelmed. At night, the lights will stand out, but most everything else will be pitch black. Christmas lights look best in a twilight setting, preferably next to a warmly illumined church or home. Especially appreciated are days with a sweet twilight winter blue.
Red, white, and green decorations provide a nice color contrast.
Snow also brightens up a scene by reflecting light from the sky and the decorations. In the photograph above, notice how the snow on the ground and the tree trunks adds to the interesting light. Also, the snow on the house is blue, while the snow on the tree trunk is lit up by the red tree. It adds depth, and makes for an interesting contrast of color and light. Interesting light is what photography is all about.
The snow also provides a blank slate making the world fresh and new. Instead of darkness, the world is clean, crisp, new, and white. It is a clean slate upon which to shine new light.
Putting up holiday lights can be an act of worship. The Good Book says, “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2, NKJV). Christmas lights are put up in celebration of the birth of the Savior. May their light rise to heaven as a prayer, and may they illuminate the hearts of men by symbolizing the true Light of the world, Jesus.
Through the wonder of internet photography, the light from these trees can now travel around the world.
Merry twelve days of Christmas! Happy New Year!
Christmas ends on January 5. The first day of Epiphany is January 6. Epiphany is also a festival of revelation and light.