|Heart, star, cat, and arrow shaped Christmas lights|
|Snowmen and anchor shaped Christmas lights|
Well, let me tell you- no magic or fancy photo editing software was required. All I needed were these materials:
(1) a camera with interchangeable lens (we use a micro 4/3 SLR)
(2) black/blue construction paper (maybe other dark colors would work as well?)
(4) rubber band /hairband
Now, just for the record- I'm not a fancy-shmancy photographer. Yes, I do take a lot of photos and yes we do own a mini SLR camera. However, I keep my camera on "auto" mode 99.9% of the time and I do basic editing using Picassa. So if I can do this... ANYONE can do this.
So, here's what I did:
First, I peeked online and found these helpful tutorials by Catschy Crafts and Photoplusmag. Then, I came up with my own methods.
(1) Take off your lens cap and place it on the construction paper.
(2) Trace out a circle that's much larger than your lens cap. (This circle has to be large enough to cover your lens like a cap.)
(3) Cut out the large circle.
(4) Cut out a small shape in the middle of your circle. (If you have a craft punch, you could use that to punch out your shape. Just make sure your shape isn't too big.)
(5) Position your circle over the lens so that the cutout shape is roughly in the middle. Attach the circle to the lens with a rubber band. (I used my hair tie.)
(6) Put your camera in manual focus mode and point it at the Christmas lights. (Now it's not focusing on anything.)
(7) Turn the focus ring to make the lights look really out of focus.
(8) Snap a photo and marvel at the different shaped Christmas lights.
(Alternative to steps 6-7: Sometimes I also just left my camera in auto-focus mode. Then, I placed my hand between myself and the Christmas lights and focused the camera on my hand. After that I just removed my hand before actually snapping my final shot.)
(Alternative to steps 1-5: I got a bit lazy towards the end and didn't want to cut out and attach circles to my lens. I found that I could still get different shaped lights if I just held up a piece of black construction paper in front of my lens and snapped photos in manual mode.)
And there you have it. With the right camera, construction paper, scissors, and a bit of imagination, you too can easily create magical images like these: