Photography Tricks

Playing With Light Again

Frank over at Dutch Goes The Photo had posted some pretty cool pictures a while ago and I just had to know how he did it. He was kind enough to re-post some tutorials for everyone to learn from.

Here are the links if you want to try it too:

Abstract Photography: Part  one, Part two and Part three.

Even though I tried it with light, you can do this with flowers or anything else. I know I will be playing around with different objects over the next few days! Thank you, Frank!

Other than slight cropping, there was no editing and no flash was used.

The first one is our Christmas Tree that has very tiny white lights on it:


All of the following photos are of a dollar store fiber optic spray:

Just a little movement in these ones.

Heavier movement in these ones:

rebel girl

Glycerin Drop Refraction

Have you tried it? I kept seeing people using this technique and decided to try it. I should have used a blade or leaf from a flower to set the drops on but I could not wait. I just used the ink refill needle that I used to put the glycerine in.

I had my husband hold the needle about an inch in front of the flowers in the garden and then using my macro lens at a 1:1 ratio. I read it is best to use somewhere between f/8 to f/11. I used f/11, ISO 400, 1/200 second.

Notice the flower in the droplet is upside down. You could always turn the subject upside down, such as a plucked flower.


In this one my husband just rotated the photo so his beer was upright.


This is something we will be trying again.

If you do a search you will find many different techniques for this.

Heart Bokeh Lens Filter – Fail!

I have seen so many of those DIY heart Bokeh lens filter pictures and thought I would give it a go. Ha!

Bokeh (bow-kay) is the Japanese word for blur. The trick is to have one part of your picture blurry and the other sharp. I was trying to have my subject sharp and background blurry. That would be the lights. A bunch of floating tiny hearts to be exact.

I guess knowing the basics of the proper camera settings for regular Bokeh would have helped. So much for thinking: Yes, I can do this! Who needs to read all that mumbo jumbo, right? Wrong!

What went wrong with my first attempt? I cut the heart with a blade and did not realize that every flaw will show. Every jagged little edge.

clean cut

So I used a stamp my mother had. Look at that nice clean cut:
heart stamp

The problem was after making this fancy hood:

heart hood

It was too big! Apparently, the cut-out should be about 5mm in size. This is what happened:

magnesium oil

So, off I go and cut out another heart. I will call it a heart. Art is not my strong suit and this little cut-out was not that easy.


I knew it would work this time around. How could it not? Ha! <—– Repeat several times.

Set up the light, the subject and shoot away. I’m a superstar! This happened:


The problem was, that dusty headed angel was inside a heart shape and the lights are not in any shape.

That did not stop me from experimenting again. Still not doing the right thing by taking the time to read up on anything.


At least the lights were shapes. Buddha is not in focus, he is blurred. The whole point was to have the subject be the sharp image.

One thing I realized was that I need more of the tiny lights. The few I have are just not enough.


I did get one okay picture except for the light strings showing. I read that people just edit them out. Is that true? If anyone knows the answer please drop me a comment.

bokeh heart

Now I am off to read all about those silly things like lighting, ISO, f stops, aperture, white balance and numbers like this: 1/2500.

When I do, I will be sure to put up a tutorial.

You Can Take a Picture of a Picture

Have you ever been at someone’s house and saw pictures that you wish you had a copy of? You can. Just grab your camera. No need to have them scanned or bring them somewhere to pay for one.

Grab the picture and take it outside, or a bright room. Make sure you get the whole image and click away. I take some in our laundry room and prop it up on the dryer. I just use my auto focus. Make sure the photo is not behind glass or the picture will have bright spots from the flash if it comes up.

When I download them on my computer, all I have to do is crop it and it’s mine. I do the same for recipes, things in books or magazines, that way I don’t have to write it down. In this day and age, writing out a long recipe is torture!

Here is an example of one of the pictures I did recently:


You may have to play around with placement to avoid bright spots or shadow. Still, not a bad price to pay for getting your hands on old family photos.