I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We did. I love Christmases like this one–lots of focus on the meaning of the holiday, shopping and wrapping not all left to the last minute, a few simple but meaningful gifts, watching the kids’ excitement over giving to each other, and lots of time together as a family. I took these photos on Christmas Eve after all the preparations for Santa’s arrival were done, and everyone had fallen asleep but me. I turned the lights off, busted out the tripod and camera, and took some pictures to remember this quiet Christmas moment. It was in this moment alone that I was really able to bask in the beauty of this holiday and be grateful for God’s many gifts, the greatest of all being his Son. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Want to know how I captured these shots? I use a Nikon point and shoot and here’s what I did: I turned off my flash, set my white balance to the speedlight mode, manually adjusted the ISO to 400, and used my tripod. With the higher ISO my photos SOTC were a little grainy, so I ran them through Noiseware, and they turned out smooth as butter. In photoshop, I added a blurred edge to the center photo to give it that dream-like ethereal quality. You can do that by using your rectangular marquee tool to draw out a rectangle about an inch away from the edges of the photo. (Be sure to work on a copy of the original.) Then right click on the photo and select “feather”. Set the feather radius to 100 pixels and click OK. Then right click on the photo again and select “select inverse”. Then click on FILTER>BLUR>GAUSSIAN BLUR and set the radius to 25 pixels. Voila!
Here is a project I cranked out this weekend in preparation for the New Year. Okay, I really did the bulk of this project last year, but it was so easy to print out a 2010 calendar, punch out each month with my 2 in circle punch, and replace the old months with the new ones. I used 3×5 inch index cards as my base, and used Basic Grey papers and borders. You can bind these together with a hole punch and binder ring, or a binder clip and hang them on a cork board, or wall organizer hook. Or you can use a bind-it-all to make it a flip calendar.
You can also do what I did in the photo below and use a photo frame-wheel to display them. The 2010 template I created is below for you to print out if you’d like to use it for your own project. You can punch them out with a 2 inch circle or square punch, or do whatever you’d like! Just click on the template image, and then print from your image viewing software. Enjoy, and Happy 2010!!