Friday, September 30, 2011

DIY Heart Bokeh

For those of you that are interested in playing around with some heart bokeh, here are some links and tips to get you started. There were two links I used. I liked this one for the visuals and instructions on how to make the cap that goes over the lens.

And this one for the information that tells you what size lenses you can use and how big to make the shaped hole.
lens sizes

I made my heart bokeh cap for my 50mm 1.8 lens and it works great! Some people complained in the comments of the above posts about only getting a heart shaped vignette. They either didn't make the hole the appropriate size, or they weren't focusing properly. I made other shaped caps, a maple leaf and a butterfly, but I found that they had a tendency to fracture the bokeh, and I didn't care for that (see photos below).

Materials I used for the heart shaped bokeh cap:
-Black matte scrapbook cardstock
-Exacto type cutting knife
-Regular cutting scissors
-Scotch tape
-Sharpened Pencil
-Ruler w/centimeter measurement
-Campbell's soup can (works great for measuring the diameter of the 50mm 1.8 bokeh cap)

Once you have gathered all your materials, follow the instructions on the links above, and you shouldn't have any problems. But I have one bit of advice, make sure you don't get the bits and scraps, you will be working around, in your camera.

Once you have your cap made, go out and create some wonderful bokeh. A sunny day is best, but anything that creates wonderful bokeh will do. Here are some examples of my favorite shaped bokeh photos...

Here are a few of the only butterfly bokeh photos I liked enough to show.

This was a fun abstract that i cropped out of a photo.

These are a couple maple leaf bokeh photos. They didn't turn out so great, but I posted them because they were taken for a couple of Canadian Flickr friends on Canada Day. I just wanted them to know I was thinking of them : )

Well, that about does it for the shaped bokeh photos. Thank goodness I misplaced my 50mm bokeh file, or else you would be suffering through more of them ;) If you give the shaped bokeh a try and have some questions, just post a comment and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In Search of Autumn

I love autumn! So after work on Friday, the first official day of autumn, I set out to see if I could capture some signs of it for the Texture Tuesday theme this week, LOVE. Living on the west coast it isn't such an easy thing to do, but I managed to capture a few autumnish pictures. Here is the acorn bouquet I brought home that evening.
It has two of Kim Klassen's textures, Mayzee and Stained Linen. It also has the Nelle Nero action, Warm Up. The leaves don't really look like oak leaves, rather more like holly leaves and just as prickly. Sure enough though, they are from a California oak.

Keeping with the theme of love, I decided to capture some heart bokeh while shooting some leaves that were starting to turn.
This photo also has two of Kim's textures, Mayzee and Luminous. I've been rather fond of the Mayzee texture lately : )

Just as I was getting ready to edit some photos for this post I received Kim's new texture, The Ladder, so I had to give it a go. I really liked the results.

This has a bit of an abstract background and I really like the painterly effect Kim's textures gave it. I used Mayzee and Serendipity.

I love playing around with different techniques in photography, so it was fun combining heart bokeh with textures. For anyone not familiar with how to make heart or shaped bokeh, when I have more time this weekend I will post some links I used to make it, and some tips I learned along the way. Until then...

Happy (Belated) Texture Tuesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Textures -n- Actions for Texture Tuesdays

Well, I've just discovered "actions" and I had a lot of fun playing around with them this weekend, along with Kim's textures for Texture Tuesdays pics. The first one I am posting has Kim's new Thursday texture and one of the The Pioneer Woman actions, but i don't remember which :o/
I tried it in b/w and liked it too, so I am posting both

I bought these Chinese lanterns a year ago and finally got around to photographing them. They look lovely in my little thrift store vase with Kim's Mayzee texture and Nelly Nero's Autumn Vintage action
here is a darker version with Kim's Subtly Yours texture and Nelly Nero's Antique Overlay action

Finally, here are a couple of pics on the brighter side : )
Kim's Trust texture and The Pioneer Woman action, Slight Lighten, i think

and this one has Kim's Love in Layers texture and The Pioneer Woman's Slight Lighten action (this one I know :)

All these are from pictures I took over the summer for a project, but did some editing with the new techniques I learned in Kim's Essentials class that just wrapped up. For the project, I decided I wanted to take some pictures to make note cards so i could give them to friends and family as gifts. So I scoured thrift stores for small vases and bottles, picked summer flowers, and took pictures of them with my 50mm lens. I've had my 50mm lens for two years and just discovered how wonderful it is. Then i combined my pictures with the wonderful textures from Kim Klassen, and now the actions from the The Pioneer Woman and Nelly Nero. I'm having a blast! Happy Texture Tuesday : )

P.S. While I am having a blast using the actions I downloaded, it wouldn't have been possible without the help of Texas Chicks (see link below). They've posted a video showing how to add the actions to the Elements editing programs. I have Elements 9, but i followed the directions for Elements 7 & 8 and it worked just fine. I still can't believe how easy it was! Thanks a million Texas Chicks!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Texture Tuesday Theme: Do

I wasn't sure if I could come up with something for this Texture Tuesday challenge, but I was so determined to finally start Texture Tuesday that I decided to DO three things on my "to do" list, and show the results. Here they are:
1. Season and use the cast iron skillet I bought at a garage sale.
2. Try out an easy new pizza dough recipe I recently found on the internet.
3. Make a pizza using roasted pepper bruschetta instead of tomato sauce.

Here is the result of my efforts. Oh yeah, I used the Dream texture because I have been dreaming of eating a homemade pizza for a couple of weeks, and I finally made it : )

Part 2 of Texture Tuesday: For the added change to the Texture Tuesday Challenge, here are a couple of the pics I did over the weekend with the Autumn Burst texture. One is subdued, and the other is a bit on the abstract side...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ugh, trying to figure it out!

Well, after a year of telling myself that I was going to start a blog, I finally did it! I'm not sure how all this works, but I will eventually get it figured out. If you want to give me some pointers, I will gladly welcome them. My desire to start a blog stems from all the wonderful blogs I have come across while looking up information on the internet. Your blogs have been so helpful and inspiring that I wanted to start one of my own to interact and respond to all the wonderful things I find. I also hope that my posts will somehow help others, and maybe even inspire them. I have an eclectic mix of interests, so you never know what you will find on my next post.  I love playing around with photography, so I will close with a photo I recently took on a trip to Santa Cruz, enjoy. I'll catch you on my next blog : )