Day 1 – Red



Day One…RED! I grabbed my iphone and then remembered, I’m allowed to use any camera. Ahh!! I love choices!

I will have to say I’m not a fan of taking photos inside the house at night. The lighting is always tough to work with, and I never use a flash, so it’s definitely more challenging then shooting with natural light. But at Christmas, there is just something magical about the decorations in the low lighting, along with the addition of natural bokeh from all of the Christmas lights, or in this case, a colored bokeh edit.

The minute we landed on ‘red’ for the first day, I immediately knew I had no choice but to photograph a RED Starbucks cup. It’s typically one of the first signs out there that the Holidays are approaching. I’m usually pretty boring when it comes to what is in my red cup, but tonight it was a caramel brulee latte. And teamed up with one of my favorite elves in the house, ladies and gentlemen… we have RED!!

I used my Canon DSLR with the 50 mm 1.4 lens to take this this picture. Shooting manual, my settings were, ISO 400, f/1.4 and shutter speed 1/80. I ever so slightly changed the white balance in lightroom, and sharpened and de-noised just a tad in iphoto. I then applied a colored bokeh edit in pixlromatic. This just added to the gorgeous blur my lens had already given the photo. Pixlromatic probably sounds familiar, because I also use their iphone app. The bokeh edit lent itself to a yellow tone, so to finish, I slightly adjusted the temperature of the picture in iphoto.

Ok, so the most important thing to leave this post knowing is that between NOW and Sunday, between 2-5 pm, you can purchase one of these RED cups at Starbucks filled with your fav holiday drink and get a second one free. No need to thank me, it’s just one of the many perks that comes along with reading this photo blog! 😉 See Starbucks for details.



‘Orange’ was the first day of challenge 1, and I chose my orange-headed son Will as my subject. So it’s seemed only too fitting to use Jack to illustrate ‘red’ in a festive setting. He’s sitting at the breakfast bar after flag football practice, headphones attached and probably looking at YouTube tutorials of Minecraft. That’s why you can see a slight blue cast to the skin around his eyes from the reflected screen of the iPad. Behind him is our Christmas tree, and there is enough depth of field for the lights to cast a beautiful bokeh.

It was so lovely to be flexible in my lens selection this time. I decided to try out a gem of a lens that I’m happy to own, the Canon 85mm 1.8. It’s flexible and useful for not just portraiture, but also for any kind of indoor motion photography such as sports or dance. The ability to open up the aperture wide to let in a lot of light allows you to use a higher shutter speed in poorly lit conditions, and this combines with a really useful focal length. It’s a fast, sharp lens…. bliss!

Taken at around 6:15pm, the light in the room came from the tree itself, and the pendant lighting in the kitchen. ISO was set at 1000, shutter speed 1/60, and aperture set at f/1.8. Editing in Lightroom 4, I decreased the temperature and slightly increased the tint. I also increased the clarity a little, and then also the green and red saturation, to enhance the colors in the image.


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