There are a number of ways to capture Christmas lights. It is a little bit of a challenge because many of the Christmas lights are not very bright. You may think flash would help, but The result of flash is to capture the tree and other non-lit ornaments and to completely overwhelm the Christmas lights so you can’t see them in the picture. So another suggestion might be to use a long shutterspeed, however, this results in many of the decorations being too dark. Here are a few options for you to try - 1. Use the double exposure function on your camera. Capture one exposure with the flash on one without. Of course this relies on the capability of your camera. Read on if you do not have a double exposure feature. 2. Using a bit of legwork and Photoshop, you can of course capture two exposures in the same way as the double exposure feature above and combined them in Photoshop. Definitely the toughest option. 3. The final option will help you understand your camera and its capabilities to a new level. It combines the use of a slow Shutterspeed with flash and will give you great results. You will need to use a tripod for this and everything will need to be stationary unless you would like to capture some motion blur. Essentially the flash will take care of the non-lit part of the decorations such as the tree and the slow Shutterspeed will take care of the Christmas lights. Without wanting to go into a long discussion about all of the settings you may choose on the camera... this should be learned over a period of time. I can give you a few suggested settings to get you started. ISO - 100-200 Aperture - f5.6-f8 Shutter speed - Start around 20 seconds. Play around with this, if your image is looking too bright, increase the shutter speed by half to 10 seconds or more if necessary. If the image is too dark, decrease Shutterspeed to be longer such as 30 seconds or more. Most importantly, have fun and have a wonderful holiday time!
...as always, do get in touch if you have any questions or would like to know more.