California Harbor Lights Holiday Photo


Decked out for the holidays– It’s that time of year when California’s harbor homes owners, boaters and yachtsmen begin their holiday lights decorating. Pictured is a Huntington Harbour home decorated for an annual Cruise of Lights week-long boat tour in December that takes guests (public invited) on yachts for 45 minute rides to see homes like the one shown in the picture. The event is a fundraiser for music programs in public schools and the annual theme in which home owners are asked to decorate their houses and mansions is often based on popular broadway plays, holiday songs, or catchy phrases about beach life. See the video or take a look at the video of Oldest Holiday Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach.

If you’re not totally into the decorating scene, you can compensate for a lack of lights with a jazzy display that pulsates courtesy of programmable light controllers and software. These products can be purchased at specialty and chain stores for a couple of hundred dollars, allowing Christmas lights to be plugged into channel outputs that manage the speed, audio and effects, operating automatically. It’s a great tech tool to raise the bar on Christmas spirit.

PICTURE TIP: For taking pictures of lights this holiday season, you can do OK with a cell phone but a whole lot better with a tripod and camera that has an “M” for manual settings allowing timed exposures. You don’t actually have to have a tripod, however, and can use any stationary object to position your camera on. With the digital display at your fingertips, you can see right away if you’re getting good results. In a technique called bracketing, keep taking the same photo over and over making slight adjustments in the amount of exposure time. When you download your images to a large monitor, you’ll discover a variety of lighting options to set different moods in what you’re trying to convey. They make great screensavers!

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