Saturday, November 28, 2015

Christmas Card Picture

Last year, at 6:41pm on December 23rd, I took the above picture.

It is on my top 5 favorite pictures I have ever taken list.

I love his messy curls.

I love that he is drinking tea. He requested hot tea, probably peppermint flavored, a lot last year.

I love the slight blur to the photo.

And I love the blurry, dreamy, colorful bokeh in the background.

How on earth did I take this picture? Did I just happen to have my camera set at the right setting at the right time when Brycen actually was still for a moment??

How can I repeat this so it can be on this year's Christmas Card?? Because I am actually tempted to use this old picture, when he was inches smaller, pounds lighter, hair curlier. He had turned 3 just 4 days before. But who really would notice, his mug is mostly covered with a mug. (hee, hee).

No, I am going to figure this out. Here are my clues, using iPhoto information tab to help me:

-it was taken at night (hence the time stated above)
-the flash was not used
-the ISO was set to a standard 400
-The lens! I was using my 50mm lens!
-the f stop was 1.8 (I don't remember what that even means)

I never use a tripod, but it's possible I was balancing my camera on a stack of books. I also believe we had more lights on the tree last year. I am wondering how many other lights we had on in the room, I think the main source of lights was from the tree itself - all things I can change.

I also have a new problem this year - an overly curious kid. (I am done calling him a toddler - sniff, sniff). Every time I take out my Nikon he wants to play with it. And because I have let him in the past play with it, he doesn't deal well with no. There may be some bribery involved in achieving the perfect Christmas Card picture.

So, PATIENCE, bribery, 50mm lens, no flash, possible fake tripod, dark outside and barely lit inside, and maybe things will work!

p.s he's actually quite good at taking photos with my camera. I want to give him my old Nikon coolpix but I can't find the charger. And I should write a review about how horrible the v-tech camera for kids is. But seriously, I am proud of my little photographer!!


  1. I love the blurred lights! Once you figure out how to recreate the magic, come photograph my kids. I have tried taking pictures ALL DAY for our Christmas card. I give up!

  2. My 50mm is my fav lens to use - I use it almost exclusively (and usually too lazy to bother with flash or tripod even if I have them on hand). The bokeh is happening bc at f1.8 you are letting a lot of light in but also creating a shallow depth of field -- in other words only B is in focus bc of this (compared to shooting say a landscape at f7.1 or something where both foreground and bg are in focus). You can probably experiment with setting the ISO to a higher speed (though too high might be too grainy) if B gets too jiggly and shoot in continuous mode. Another thing you could think about is getting a camera timer or maybe using a camera timer app to shoot off at timed intervals (though will need tripod) so you don't have to worry about setting up the shot over and over.


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