This weekend Lisa and Abi were out of town attending a gymnastics meet in Bellingham.  So I was left at home alone all day Saturday and most of Sunday.  Now I say alone, but that’s not really true as James was home too, but he lives in his room on his computer and I didn’t see him all weekend so I was basically alone.

So what to do?  One thing I did find out is that I suck without Lisa – it appears (don’t tell her this) that having her here telling me what to do all day actually keeps me busy.  Here I was, on my own, the whole weekend to myself and I didn’t know what to do.  Talk about “Trained”.

By Sunday afternoon I was literally going nuts – bored stupid.  So I’m on the internet reading one of my favorite Fuji camera sites and came across a post I found interesting.

The post was basically discussing the value of camera sensor size and whether a full frame sensor was that much better than a Fuji APS-C sensor (I told you I was bored).  Now I don’t expect you to understand any of this but I’ll tell you that the Fuji sensors are a little smaller than some professional high end digital cameras from Nikon and Canon (that’s all you really need to know).  Now I used to have one of those expensive high end larger sensor cameras and sold it to buy the Fuji gear I have to day.  I love my fuji cameras and think they are just as good as any Nikon or Canon.

The article was basically saying that with my camera when you take a portrait shot, you don’t get the “soft – out of focus” look the professionals like.  (This is called Bokeh.)  I don’t agree and have achieved this MANY times.  So I decided to do a test to show you can get nice bokeh in your pics.

But what to shoot?

As everyone was out I decided to try a self-portrait.  Now I should point out here that one of the reasons I take all the pictures in my family is that I don’t like having my picture taken.  So this was going to be “fun”.

So I got out my tripod, one of my nice portrait lenses, one light and a small soft box.  I set it all up in the dining room and got out my phone.  Yes that’s right, I got my phone which has an app that talks to my camera.  Using my phone I could stand in front of the camera, see on the phone what the camera was looking at, focus on the phone, look up and take the shot!  Cool eh?

This is basically what I did.  Of course I had to do it probably 30 times before I actually got a picture I half liked, but that’s it.  The end result is below and hopefully you can see the nice bokeh (soft focus) behind me in the garden.

Now as my whole family know I live in Photoshop and since I took this shot I’ve been asked several times if I “Photoshopped” the image.  I’m not quite sure what they are actually asking here.  Do they like the image and think I made me look better?  Or do they not like the image and think I should have made myself look better? Who knows.

The answer to the question however is YES.  The image was loaded into Photoshop and I sharpened it and added a vignette to make it look nice.  The rest is (unfortunately) all me.

Now this is a terrible thing to admit but I’m not a huge fan of shooting my kids.  If you need to ask why, you don’t have kids yourself!  Basically most people who ask me to photography them actually want me to do it.  Sure people aren’t necessarily comfortable in front of the camera but they try – and it’s my job of course to help them.

But my kids… they DEFINITELY don’t want to be photographed, in fact they hate it!

So when Lisa asked me to get some shots of James and Abi, with their cousin Regan I thought “oh no” and adopted an unhappy face.

But not to be perturbed I got some lights out and grabbed the camera.  But things were not right – something was wrong!  Abi was in the shower getting ready (this never happens), then James got in the shower!!!!!  Regan put on Seattle Seahawks t-shirt (his new favorite team) and then all got in front of the camera.

Then they smiled – I’ll say that again – THEY SMILED!

So either, I’m getting better at this (unlikely) or they just wanted to play tonight (probable).

Anyway here are the shots.