Sunday, 9 January 2011

A bokeh experiment

 Last year, I came across this amazing bokeh tutorial by Amanda of  I'd always wondered how photographers created this incredible effect...but at the time, I didn't have 1) a 50mm f/1.8 lens 2) a DSLR camera.  This year, I'm lucky enough to have both, so I decided to have a go at creating my own custom bokeh before my Christmas tree came down. 

I almost exactly followed Amanda's instructions to create this effect.  I would, however, recommend using the 'manual focus' setting on your lens if you have one...focusing on a particular object and then moving it at the last minute was pretty challenging (and I had a lot of botched photos).  If you do alter the setting, just make sure that you very gently push your custom hood over the lens after you have manually adjusted the focus...I found that even the lightest touch could reset it and lose the overall effect.

Of the four punches I used, I think the stars were my favourite.  I'm looking forward to trying this again next year with some different punches (maybe some more Martha Stewart ones?) and perhaps even my Slice (although that might be a bit ambitious).  I loved how pretty the multi-coloured fairy lights looked, but I'm excited to try it with white lights next year...I think they look so very romantic.  And a little less '80s disco.           

Amanda also suggested using a tripod or resting your camera on a flat surface for this kind of photography, but I snapped away by hand without too much camera shake.  And the best part of this tutorial?  As a scrapbooker, you can pretty much use everything that you already have in your supplies!  

Let me know if you're a bokeh fan, too...

Have a wonderful start to the week :)

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Dusting off the cobwebs...

...and popping in to say hello :)  More importantly, a very happy New Year to you!  So much has happened since I last checked in that I'm not entirely sure where to start, so I thought that today I would share my New Year's resolutions with you (my One Little Word will follow in the next couple of days).

Last year, I put this layout together to record what I hoped to achieve in 2010.  I've never really been a fan of making 'resolutions' as such, but I do like to have some goals that I can work towards as the year progresses.  I didn't do too badly in 2010, but you'll see below that I carried forward several resolutions into's hoping that I finally get round to taking my driving test this year (and, of course, passing it!). 

*Click on the picture to enlarge

Made using Studio Calico's Metropolitan kit (December)

More than anything, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a happy, healthy 2011.  I started 2010 with high hopes and equally high expectations...but for the most part, it was a very hard year, as I think it was for many people.  2011 brings with it many changes and a new beginning of sorts, and I'm excited to share the journey with you as it unfolds over the coming months.  I suppose, like so many others this year, I'm hoping that the best is yet to come.