Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why I'm Not Posting...

Christmas decorating, Christmas shopping, and Christmas cookies...

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How I Did It

This is how I did yesterday's bokeh shots of Christmas lights.

You need:

Camera (Dslr works best, but I think you can do this with a P&S, with a little perserverance)

Lens - I used a Canon ef 50mm f/1.8 - aka the Nifty Fifty. This is basically a cheapo plastic lens, but it gets good reviews everywhere and with good reason. I picked mine up used on ebay for about $70.00

Black construction paper, paper punch, or small sharp scissors, depending on how dexterous you are.

First, cut a strip of construction paper to fit around your lens. Tape together. Next, cut a circle with tabs to fit over this. You want to block as much light as possible from your lens.

Then, depending on how good you are with circles and cutting, you can proceed two ways: either cut a circle with about a 1 inch diameter out of the middle of this circle, or freehand cut your desired shape. If you have cut the 1 inch circle out, do this next: Cut a slightly larger than 1 inch circle out of construction paper, punch your desired shape, and tape over hole you cut. Tape the tabs over the taped strip that fits over your lens, and voila! You have a mask.

Set your lens to manual focus. Make sure you have the lowest aperture you can get with your lens = mine is 1.8, duh. Point camera at lights, make certain they are out of focus, put mask over lens, and shoot. You should have something similar to what I posted yesterday. Depending on your camera, you may have to play with this a bit. If you are using a point and shoot, you may have to play with it quite a bit! Also, make sure your cut shape is very small if you are using a point and shoot. I was able to do this with my Canon S5IS, so YMMV.

Also, you can see my lens masks are a bit battered. Don't let your cat sit on them!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


My camera, my Canon ef 50mm f/1.8 lens, and a couple of construction paper masks, and come Christmas lights:

Monday, December 05, 2011

Night Sky

My first attempts at getting long-exposure star shots. It was a lot of trial and error, and sometimes just dumb luck, but I did manage to get a few that I liked. Unfortunately, all my tripod connections apparently were not tight enough, so I did get a bit of star wiggle on a few of them, so not posting those. Just as I started getting the hang of it, the clouds moved in.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Over on Cat Patches, this week's Foto Challenge is cold. I had my pick of images, giving that last winter was one of the coldest we've had, with endless snowstorms. The image I picked was that of my windowboxes taken the day after our December 26 snowstorm last year. The windowboxes are filled with holiday greens and lights, and covered with snow, even though they are set way back under my eaves.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Back to Knitting...

So, I made these gloves last year. I'd never had a pair of fingerless gloves, and wasn't sure how much I'd use them. The short answer to that is a lot! I was amazed at how much I used them - while on the computer in my family room (AKA "Siberia"), while taking pictures outdoors, while driving, even while reading in bed at night! Wow. So, I'm making a few more pairs of them. This one is in ShibuiKnits Midnight and Ivory. I made the hand part a bit longer, which worked well for keeping more finger real estate warm. I can just fold or push the extra fabric back when I don't need it. The tricky part is that there isn't a lot of yardage in the Shibui skeins = just 191 yards. I had been thinking about using some of my Koigu, too, but that's even less yardage, so I'm just going with the Shibui. I just weigh the yarn when I get to the hand so I have an idea how much further I can go. Of course, I could solve the whole problem by making the pair fraternal rather than matching, since you use less of the beginning color, but I'm way too OCD to deal with fraternal rather than matching gloves!

Not getting much quilting done lately because, well, it's December. My son's birthday was yesterday, and I have a million things to do for Christmas. Only some of my decorations are up, and I still have to shop and bake, and oh yeah, go to work too, so I can finance this wing-ding.