If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Learning with my new camera

I am spending a bit of time each day learning with my new camera.  I took a few shots before I put the Christmas decorations away and I just keep marveling at what a wonderful job this thing will do with no expertise or practice.

I usually put the kitchen Christmas tree on the chopping block but this year, I just couldn't change this little vignette...

It kind of shows where I am in self-discovery right now.  I asked for the crocheted wash cloths from my daughter, Bridgette, at Goody Stuff because the ones I had were getting pretty yucky.  So, she gave me this stack tied up with a piece of raffia for my birthday back in November.  I thought it looked so sweet, I just couldn't bear to mess it up...for over a month!

The herb pots right behind the wash cloths might  be called a gentle nudge from my Granny.  The blue and white container was hers.  It is one of the things I was lucky enough to get from her estate.  (along with: Treasures for the Roadshow, More than a Family Tree, More Pieces for the Roadshow, and a quilt.)  I almost bought some African violets to put in it because she grew some of the most brilliant and beautiful ones ever.  Then, I decided that I needed to venture into growing my own herbs.  So, I have a couple of tiny pots set inside that container and I'm giving it a try.  The jury is still out on whether this is going to become a life-long venture!

The bowl to the left is one I picked up on clearance somewhere and just liked it.  I generally keep Granny Smith apples in it because I like the look of that green apple color against my favorite blue and white designs.  After seeing on Pinterest where some folks had dried some oranges, I thought I'd give that a try.  Not a total Pinterest success but it wasn't a total fail, either.  I may give it another go at some point.  During the fall months I added some little boo pumpkins as decor.  So, for the Christmas season, I added some jello molds, metal cookie cutters, and a strand of cranberry red beads.  I thought it looked festively beautiful!
I absolutely love how my camera picked up the lusciousness of the colors in this collection and it makes my heart smile to see these things looking spectacularly beautiful because it was such a simple conglomeration and it features some of the things I really love.
Isn't this a sweet shot of Toby?  He is sitting where he spends so much of his time keeping tabs on our little world...right in front of the French doors of the kitchen.  I love how the photo picks up the soft velvety texture of his coat and how the shadows and highlights are picked up by the natural light.  (I also love how it doesn't show the smudgy dog-nose prints on the windows!)  With my point-and-shoot camera and with the phone camera I could never get this kind of depth and the beauty of Toby didn't show up as well because he is so...black.  So, this camera might really make some other things look just as beautiful as I see them, too!
And here is a perfect example of something I see as beautiful.  The guys made fun of me when we were unwrapping our Christmas gifts but I don't care.  Each year I collect all the glittery, wire edged ribbons off of packages and stash them away.  This box has been their home for the past two or three years.  I simply coil the lengths of ribbon around my hand and smash it flat and stack the pieces in this little box.  Then, when I get ready to wrap gifts the next year, I pull out the little box of ribbons and use them again.  I know for certain that some of these lengths of ribbon are more than eight years old.  Yet, our gifts still twinkled and looked beautiful again this year.  I didn't even have to add much new ribbon to the stash this year.  Didn't my new camera make this stash of ribbon look neat and tidy and really just sparkly beautiful?  That is how this stash looks to me, too!
This is a photo I made to share with Lillie in our Google Hangout right after putting the Christmas decorations away.  She was supposed to be cleaning her bedroom and I was trying to encourage her by showing her my own cleaning progress.  I think what I like most about this new camera and lens is the capability to focus on different things.  When I was wishing for a new camera, I read a blog post by Karianne at Thistlewood Farms where she talked about bokeh (photography language for that fuzzy, out-of-focus "stuff that makes your heart beat faster").  The photos I took to share with Lillie featured some of that bokeh.  In the photo above you might notice it in the bottom left corner.  And in the one below you can tell that the books on the coffee table were the center of my focus and the bokeh is pretty much all around the books...
Now, if I can only learn to control that and focus on exactly what I want to highlight and keep the bokeh on the things I don't want to highlight...