Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holiday Faces

Riley with Light Bokeh
My friend Gayle's cat, Riley, is - by far - my most cooperative animal subject.  Riley seems to love and adore having her photo taken - and, of course, I'm exceedingly happy to oblige her.  I was visiting Gayle a couple of weekends ago and wanted to grab a shot of Riley with the bokeh from the Christmas tree lights behind her (for you non-photo types, bokeh is that pretty light blur you get in photos like this one).  Unfortunately, Riley really just wanted to play in the tinsel.

However, just before I left, she hopped up on the end of the chair and lined herself up perfectly with the Christmas tree in the background and let me grab that one shot!  My friend Diana, whose photographs I love, called the bokeh shot of Riley at the top of this post one of my best pet Photo shots.  That's saying something because I post a LOT of pet photos - and I've learned to trust Diana's eye for a good shot.  (Thanks Diana!)

I love the chance to easily catch bokeh shots during the holidays.  I showed off a little bokeh behind my new Brownie Hawkeye in an earlier post and even made some shaped bokeh with my Mickey Mouse and Star scrapbook punches in this post.  However, as a contrast here I took the opportunity to play around with the difference created by natural light (in the shot of Riley above - the room light was just coming from Gayle's awesome big window) as compared to the lamp light in my house to capture this shot of Fluffy who also quite graciously offered to pose for a session for me.  The difference in front lighting, as Fluffy was from our living room lamp, creates a different "temperature" in the photo - natural light seems warm to me while lamp light always seems a bit colder.  I tend to like natural lighting better so the photo of Riley is my choice out of the two, but I do love my Fluffy!

Fluffy with Christmas light bokeh

Just a little bit more camera experimentation - this time throwing in Lightroom and Photoshop too as I wanted to see what kind of shaped bokeh I could get in Lightroom.  I used this Lightroom tutorial (the whole series of these is great!) to figure out how to get the photo from Lightroom to Photoshop seamlessly - worked like a dream.  Then, I used this tutorial from Ramblings and Photos Shoot and Edit Challenge to play around with the bokeh behind Lindsay's head.  Somewhere in between the two, I got stuck.  My photoshop skills are virtually non-existent so I'm going to have to put that tutorial on my to do list and try again later.  The shot even without shaping the bokeh wasn't bad so here is my shot from the camera.

Lindsay with Bokeh

Hope you're having a relaxing week and are settling in to the slow pace of the holiday season (I know it's not slow for most folks, but I make a HUGE effort to make it slow and relaxed to give myself the time to think about and plan for next year.) 

Live, Love, TRAVEL

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