It's Bokeh, Baby

Somehow when you take a photo of your Christmas tree it never looks as magical and twinkly as it does when you are standing in front of it.
I gave up trying and went for a bit of bokeh instead.
It's what you see if you are shortsighted and aren't wearing your specs, which by the way, is a great way of checking the lights on the tree are evenly distributed ;o)

Basically what you want to do is set your aperture wide, your focus close and stand about ten foot away from some pretty points of light. Hey, I sound like I know what I'm talking about there don't I? Great tutorial here.

My children decorated the tree and I stood by saying things like 'don't put that there', 'don't put more than one thing on a branch', 'why is there a big bare patch there?', 'stop arguing about a string of shiny beads you're 15 for goodness sake' and generally behaving like a tinsel nazi.

It's a real tree.
 I would never have an artificial tree. Ever, ever. Ever.
 Real food and real trees for me.
Just keeping it real.

We put it up a day early due to offspring pressure.

Our living room is a cave of coloured lights; the tree, the tealights in their red and gold glasses, the fairy lights strung all round the edge of the ceiling and the glowing tissue paper windows of the Advent calendar.

Now I'm sitting in my cave with a glass of wine and one of our favourite Christmas films- Scrooged. Some great lines in that film but 'the bitch hit me with a toaster' always makes me laugh like a drain.


  1. Ours will be going up tomorrow - offspring pressure has been very high this week, especially with the neighbours lighting up the night sky with all manner of lights and decorations, but I held firm! Tomorrow is plenty of time in advance of the big day.
    I love your photographs - you are obviously having a great deal of fun with your new camera - as long as you keep sharing the results, I'll try really hard not to be envious!!

  2. It looks beautiful and I love the faded out look - makes it look more romantic and twinkly.

    I always let the kids decorate the tree however they like - and then when they've gone to bed rearrange - mostly- the lot! Just call me the tinsel fairy - nod, nod, wink, wink!!

    Nin axxx

  3. Anonymous10:47 pm GMT


    Once again, great photos. And thanks for the laugh. "Tinsel Nazi" set us both off laughing, as our parents should have had that title.
    thanks for the memories.
    Have a Merry Christmas.


  4. Right. I need Scrooged. Now.

  5. I love the blurred images of your tree lights and decorations. I use to have a real Christmas tree in a pot but the ants got into it and it died. A couple years ago I bought an extremely realistic looking artifical tree for a number of reasons. The expense of buying a new Christmas tree every year and I'm a bit of a tree hugger and hate the thought of all those trees being cut down every year for just a few weeks pleasure. I think Christmas trees are lovely whatever they are and I even like some of the more contemporary ones.
    "Tinsel Nazi", I like that. I'll have to remember it for next year. :-)
    Good luck with your last minute Christmas preparations.

  6. Well offspring pressure has been very high here as well but going out of the house is not an option - the roads are caked with ice and snow.
    I had a good laugh at the "tinsel nazi" too ! That's what I used to be like - now I leave the room and I let the children have fun.

  7. Fantastic Sue. Nice to know there is a fellow tinsel Nazi out there.

  8. Anonymous12:48 pm GMT

    In theory I prefer a real tree which I always had as a child - who can beat nature for it's own beauty? In reality I can't bear to be responsible for killing a tree. I know some have roots on but nine times out of ten they still end up shredded or in the bin. Even shredded and re-used saddens me because I would prefer to see them in forests. So each year I get the same plastic one out on Christmas Eve and the magic arrives just the same as when I was a child and it makes me happier not to have chopped a tree down in it's prime just so we can make it 'pretty' for a couple of weeks. They all look even more beautiful as nature intended.
    Real food, now there I do agree!

  9. I'm afraid I can't feel sorry for a tree. Christmas trees are grown as a crop by farmers. Like broccoli. They may not feed the body but they feed the soul.

  10. Beautifully festive pictues Sue, fab shots. We've gone cloloured light crazy here this year and I'm convereted.

    Real trees here too, absolutely. Sorry to hear about your lovley bauble though.
    Enjoy the snow only a dusting here this time. Stay cosy.

  11. Ha - you Tinsel Nazi! Loving the bokeh, hoping to be able to gather some money together for a posh camera myself soon :)


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