Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmas Journal days 1-7

This year's Christmas Journal is underway - slightly behind but will get caught up soon, hopefully!  Anyway, here's days 1 to 7.  The cards to go in the tin are double sided - several of the photos are ones I took on the 12 Days course.

Day 7 opened up on both sides to show more photos of the big day and his friends.

More to come - when I've done it!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

More 12 Days - and a birthday!

OK, a few more shots from me today.

Day 6 was about angles and thinking about lighting etc for opening presents on the big day.  Conveniently, it was someone's birthday yesterday, so I was able to practise on him.  Bless him, he went slowly for me so I could get some shots.  Even Maisie got in on the act - and I never get a decent photo of her!

One of our family traditions is that, each year, we let Stephen choose a new decoration for the tree.  This year, rather than just take a photo of it hanging on a branch, I went for a slightly different shot - love how it sums him up, bitten fingernails and all!

And now he's 11!  Where did that time go?  No musical chairs or pass the parcel anymore - just a few friends round for a DVD and popcorn, a few games of Wii Party and tea.  Nice and simple!

He still wanted a homemade cake though - and asked for Annoying Orange!  If you don't know Annoying Orange - just don't Google it.  It's so - annoying!

And here is Day 7 - Razzle Dazzle.  Love the effect of going into manual focus and getting the beautiful bokeh - I even had a go with my punches and got the shaped bokeh.  Not great but it worked - looking forward to getting the tree up so I can play some more.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas ...

Up to day 5 of CJ's 12 Days of Christmas photography course - thought I'd share what I've done so far.

Day one

This was all about finding the right white balance - I found this a bit of a struggle as the lighting in our house is not great, but I think the subject matter helped!

Day two

This was a creative assignment, to 'spell out' Christmas.  Couldn't resist the tin of Alphabetti Spaghetti!

Day three

Outside lights. No Christmas lights up here yet, so I went for street lights. Loved the deep blue effect created by using the tungsten white balance and the star effect is done by holding a sieve over the camera lens.

Day four

A 'festive' photo walk!  Unfortuately,  all the snow had melted (not that we had much in the first place) and grey, melting slush, sleet and fog were not lending themselves to beautiful photos so I went looking for colour instead!

Day five

Managed to talk the family into a photoshoot, even though we're all bunged up with colds!  Am quite pleased with how these have turned out.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Journalling my Christmas - again?

Didn't I do that last year?  And a few years before?  Haven't I got some lovely albums stuffed full of memories and photos to look back on?

Well ... yes ... yes ... and ... er ... yes.

So why do I keep coming back to it?

I love Christmas.  I especially love all the build-up - Christmas music being played in the supermarkets, Christmas-themed packaging on everything from chocolate bars to cheese, folders marked 'Don't look in here!' on the computer.  Working in schools gives me a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the magic through the eyes of children and to get up to my elbows in glitter year after year. 

I would love to be a Nigella or a Kirstie with delicious food in vintage tins, home-made decorations artfully strewn around the house, singing carols around the piano.  However, I'm not - I'm Alison - more likely to have carrier bags stuffed full of all sorts of stuff spread around the house, Phineas and Ferb singing the 12 Days of Christmas on Spotify and to have drunk all the port before the big day!

But I love it all - even though I can get a bit stressed from time to time about it!  A Christmas journal is a little bit of me time during the month, a time to wind down and think about all the little things that happen, as well as the bigger events.  A time to experiment with my camera - first Christmas with a DSLR! - and, of course, to use all the Christmassy scrapbooking stash that I can't resist buying every year!

So here's this year's 'album' - I've rung the changes a bit this year and decorated an old Basic Grey lunch tin that I've had for years.  Quite simple - decopatch with felt bunting and tiny jingle bells sewn on each point. 


1st December already!  Advent calendars are being opened and it's the start of Journal Your Christmas/December Daily, as well as the 12 Days photography course, so plenty to keep me busy today!

I will upload some pictures later of the things I have been working on but just wanted to share this - it's a printer tray I decorated with a Disney theme for Nigel's birthday.  My favourite part is the tiny PhotoPass card that fitted perfectly in one of the little slots!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Photography

Cheryl over at Feel Good Photos is offering a 12 Days of Christmas photography course again this year - and I was lucky enough to get a place!  This is my first Christmas with my DSLR so I am really looking forward to trying out different techniques and then putting them into practice over the festive period.  Will also be able to get some shots for my Christmas journal.

We had to upload a festive self-portrait - so here's mine, with everyone's favorite seasonal food!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Christmas Journal '09

I realised I hadn't posted my completed journal from last year. I was really pleased with how it turned out - it was a bit of a mish-mash of Journal Your Christmas, December Daily and lots of odds and sods! It came together really well, though and was finished by the day after Boxing Day, which was a record for me!

I have prepared this year's journal so will share some pictures of it soon but, in the meantime, here is 2009's.