Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting in the holiday spirit

This year I feel like I know my camera enough to experiment a little with it during the holidays. You can probably tell I'm a bokeh addict and I never shoot anything with an aperture higher than 2.8 (I would go lower, but that's as low as I can go, right now).

A few weeks ago, I pondered about bokeh and shapes. My friend Melissa pointed me toward this great website. It shows you how you can make an adapter for your lens to create shaped bokeh from surrounding lights. I showed the idea to Gene and asked if his computerized laser could cut the shapes for me. (I'm worse than a preschooler with scissors). I bought some cardstock and told him the dimensions and he went to town.

Heres what they look like...he cut a variety of shapes and sizes for me, not really knowing what would work.
cut outs

He made them so they go between the lens and the filter.... like so
camera bokeh card

Heres what it looks like.... I had to manually unfocus because I didn't have a subject I could put in my foreground to give me an adequate depth of field for the optimal bokeh. I was at a tree trimming party at a friends house and just couldn't wait to try. (Hopefully when we get our tree up later this week I can try out some more).


A few with a full perspective of the tree...
star tree

star tree 2

Gene had me be a model so we could try it with a subject in the photo.... (its dark, but you get the picture)
me and lights

I found that the star shaped worked the best. The snowflake did ok, but it cut off more of the shape then I liked. The heart may have been too big and it was just and odd shaped blob, not really a heart.

Stay tuned for more pretty shaped bokeh posts!

Friday, November 12, 2010

That time of year again

Its time to start thinking about the holiday card. I always like to have them done around Thanksgiving, so I can get them mailed out early. I love looking at every ones card, so the earlier I can get mine out to people, the longer they can enjoy.

I've had a hard time this year deciding on a photo. So, I think I've decided to do a collage of some of my favorite JJ photos from this year. Gene doesn't think him and I should be on the card (who wants to look at us?). I've narrowed it down and I'm eager to get them printed.

I'm pleased with how my photography skills have developed over the past year. I think the collection of photos that I have chosen accurately depicts that. I've met an amazing group of women that have shared their knowledge and love of photography. Its great to have this fantastic resource available. Its easy to look at all the photos you take with "momgoggles" and oh and aw over how great they are. But these women can give it to you straight, and also direct you on how to make it that much better. I still have a ton of learning to do, tons I tell you, but its fun to have a hobby that I can pick up when I have a few minutes and experiment with.

Back to the cards...just when I was about to hit the buy button in my shopping cart, I came across this great deal at Shutterfly for bloggers. Of course, I saw it on another blog. What I ever did before google reader, I don't know!

Sign up and you can receive 50 holiday cards for free! What an awesome deal! I'm so glad I found this. Our list gets longer every year and this will help us spread the holiday cheer!

Don't have a blog of your own... well Shutterfly had plenty of great offers for those that don't. Free shipping, 20% off.... now is a really great time to buy. Their selection of holiday cards this year is fantastic. I've used other sites in the past and I haven't had near the selection that shutterfly does. Check out what they have here.

Once I get the cards and get them mailed out, I'll share it with you all here! (I'll share that it includes 5 photos!)

I alsowant to share that shutterfly has great holiday gift ideas. One I love is the 2011 calendar. I made one of these a few years ago for my mother in law and one for JJ's mom and they both loved them. It was a great way to incorporate all the photos from the last year into one great gift. Check out the Calendar templates at Shutterfly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Where have I been... the Bahamas! I went on a cruise with my families (parents, grandmother, brother and sister in law, in laws, friends, friends of friends) for 5 whole days! We had a fantastic time. I saw the You capture theme for this week and knew I had a photo to share. I know you aren't suppose to search archives, but this isn't really from the archives because I just took it last week and I haven't touched the camera since I unpacked it.

Gene and I took JJ for a little beach time when we arrived in Nassau. We loved playing in the crystal blue water and white sand.

This is serene....


Here are a few others from the trip....
JJ watching the sun come up as we pulled into port...
Sunrise in Caribbean


He looks like a model here... the dang kid is RIPPED!
Enjoying the Beach

And one of Gene, because I love him...
Hot Stuff

Lastly, because we have one of these from every trip we've ever taken....
The self portrait
Ubiquitous Self Portrait

Check out more Serene photos over at You Capture.

I hope to get back to blogging more, with or without photos. Our life is going on a new and unchartered journey and I hope to share that here.