tutorial

How to Take Christmas Photos- Bokeh Tutorial

I love Christmas lights- they’re so pretty! And I also love taking photos with Christmas lights in the background when it creates beautiful bokeh (the circles that form behind the subject).

Here are some tips of how to take photos with gorgeous bokeh using Christmas lights!

1. Use a small aperture– to get really nice bokeh, order you need a lens with an aperture (or f stop) that can go down to 1.8 or 2. For these photos I was using my Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. The aperture of your lens is how big the opening is to let in light- so when you have a low aperture like 1.8, patient the opening is really large and lets in a lot of light, stomach and your background gets blurry. Because your aperture is letting in a lot of light, your shutter speed will have to be higher to compensate.

bokeh web12. Put your subject several feet away from the lights. For these photos I used our Christmas tree and my dog was a good 8ish feet away from the tree. Varying the distance between your subject and the lights will give you different looks- the closer you are to the lights the smaller they will be. If you get really close, they will just look like lights, not circles. The farther away you are, the bigger the circles, but if you get too far away, all the circles will start blurring together.

bokeh web43. Put your camera close to the subject– My dog was far away from the tree, but I was close to him. That made the frame tighter and made for better bokeh.

bokeh web34. Adjust your ISO– My ISO was at 400 for these photos- that’s in the middle as far as ISO goes. ISO is how sensitive to light your camera is- if your ISO is low (100 or 200) your camera is not as sensitive to light meaning that your aperture and shutter speed have to be lower to let in enough light. Low ISO is good for when you’re shooting in bright light and gives you the highest quality photos. Middle ISO from 400-800 will make your camera more sensitive to light which is good for when you’re shooting in a well-let room inside. ISO in this range will allow your camera to take in more light and won’t take down the quality of your photos too much. High ISO (800+ depending on your camera) will allow you to shoot in low-light situations, but will also produce granier photos. I always try to shoot at as low an ISO as possible so my photos will be of better quality. Your ISO in these photos is going to depend on how dark your environment is- my living room has windows so it was letting in quite a bit of light.

bokeh web25. Have fun and don’t hesitate to ask me questions in the comment section! I know Christmas is over, but keep your lights up and experiment with some bokeh holiday photos :)

And for those of you who are curious, my settings for these photos were: ISO– 400, Shutter Speed– 1/100, Aperture– f/1.8

How to Make White Rice

Apparently today is the first day of Spring! I totally thought the 21st of March was the first day of Spring, viagra 60mg but Google says it’s today and Google usually knows what he’s talking about, so happy first day of Spring! We are celebrating with 86 degree weather…I think the world is a tad confused and thinks today is actually the first day of Summer.

I had a lot of fun answering the alphabet survey in my last post, so I thought I would answer some more questions. If you don’t feel like getting to know me more, feel free to skip to the bottom of the post to find out how to make great white rice. I’ll cry, but that’s ok ;)

What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to? My friends Jessica and Jessica throw the best birthday parties! Last year they had a Harry Potter themed party and this year they had a murder mystery. Their parties are always really fun and entertaining :)

What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up? Oh goodness. I cry at everything. I cried at this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I always cry at Grey’s Anatomy). Oh and I cried a ton after I read Portia de Rossi’s book Unbearable Lightness. I would absolutely recommend this book. It’s a really honest and brave memoir about her struggle with eating disorders.

When was the last time you had an amazing meal? Today I went to Maniac’s. I had never been there before but they had amazing hand-battered chicken tenders. Mmm!

What is something you learned in the last week? Today I learned that March 20th is the first day of Spring!

I’d love to hear some of your responses to these questions :)

This is a basic recipe for how to prepare white rice. I love rice! It’s great with some salt, butter, and peas, as a side dish with some chicken, and I also love it with my mom’s beef stew. Rice is really versatile and there’s a seemingly endless way to prepare it, but you need to know how to make basic rice before you tackle anything crazy ;) I didn’t know how to make rice until recently (yeah…I’m a little behind) but it was super easy to learn.

How to Cook White Rice:

  1. Measure your rice and water. I use a 1:2 ratio, meaning 1 cup of rice for every 2 cups of water (or chicken/vegetable broth). I’ve also seen people use 1 cup of water to 1.5 cups liquid, but the 1:2 ratio worked great for me.
  2. Should I rinse my rice? I don’t and I haven’t had any issues with my rice being too starchy and sticky. Rinsing your rice can get rid of some of the nutrients as well, so I wouldn’t unless you’ve had issues with the texture of your rice in the past.
  3. Combine your rice and water in a pot, cover it, and bring it to a boil. Once it is at a good, rolling boil, reduce the heat so it’s just a slow simmer and set the timer for 20 minutes. Don’t open the lid during that time because it will let the steam out.
  4. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes (still don’t touch the cover).
  5. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

Note: Rice will double as it cooks.

I got these tips from Our Best Bites. I’ve made rice several times recently and it’s always turned out perfect!

Felt Hairbow Tutorial

I absolutely love wearing hair bows and wear them almost every day (maybe that’s why people tend to think I’m younger than I actually am ;). I have had trouble finding bows I like in stores, more about and when I do find them, order they’re often pretty expensive. I found a tutorial of how to make bows out of felt. It’s super simple and they’re so cute!

The first thing you do is cut a rounded rectangle out of felt and a smaller thinner strip of felt (either the same color or a different color).

Next, pinch the rectangle in the middle.

Take your smaller strip of felt and wrap it around the pinched rectangle. Take some hot glue and glue the strip around the rectangle.

I’ve found the easiest way to make these into clips is to use one of these metal saw-tooth thingies and just slip it between the bow and the strip.

So cute!

I want to make these in all sorts of colors and for all different seasons!

I found this tutorial at Ruffles and Stuff. She has a tutorial for another type of bow made of felt as well that I haven’t tried yet.

Enjoy!

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