The Chinese New Year falls on 8 February this year (it follows the lunisolar Chinese calendar) and marks the start of the Year of the Monkey.  Many celebrations will be taking place the following weekend, with London’s annual festivities (the biggest in the world outside China) being held on 14 February. See more details here.

But it’s not just London that will see celebrations for the Year of the Monkey, as Chinese communities in cities across the country, including Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham, will also host events. With a little bit of research you may find an event near you.

These celebrations, with their riotous colours and sounds, offer fabulous photo opportunities. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  1. Expect ceremonial parades to take place, with the lion and dragon dance being a highlight. They move pretty fast, so be prepared to fire off a burst of shots – continuous AF will come in handy.
  2. If you want to get a bit more creative, drop the shutter speed down to 1/15sec or 1sec to introduce movement blur into your shot. Sticking with a slow shutter speed, think about panning with your subject.
  3. Despite firecrackers being set off in daylight, they can still make for a good shot. Focusing can be tricky, so it might be worth manually pre-focusing on a point or tracking the faces of the people setting them off.
  4. Make sure you wander around the celebrations as there will be plenty of things to catch your eye – food stalls, street decorations and Chinese calligraphy all make interesting subjects.
  5. If you take any great shots, make sure you share them with us the Amateur Photographer Facebook page or Twitter account @ap_magazine, and we’ll share the best ones with our followers.