December 14, 2010

Homemade Luminarias

Saturday night, after seeing this picture, I decided that I wanted to decorate outdoors after all. I didn't expect that $3.32 worth of paper sacks and tea lights would create a new favorite holiday memory.

Travis and I went to the store for luminaria supplies and road trip munchies. An hour later, (Why an hour? Ask me in person.), when we got home, we filled the sacks with gravel from our path and lit the luminarias. Then we spent about 30 minutes outside in the cold admiring the scene and learning how to take pictures of Christmas lights.

You want to maximize the amount of light coming into the lens, which means you want a wide lens iris (aka aperture or f-stop) and a long shutter speed, five seconds in our case. It's impossible to hold the camera steady for five seconds so we used a tripod.

We tried to include ourselves in a few of the shots, but it was like taking pictures at the turn of the century. You have to be absolutely motionless or the shot will be blurry. I couldn't do it.

But Bailey was an expert at "stay." You can barely see where she moved her nose. (Click the photo for a closer view).

All in all, a fun spur of the moment holiday celebration. Simple and abundant.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, it's beautiful at night. What product did you use there?

    Just like to share with you a beautiful quote...

    "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life" - Albert Camus

    You can get more quotes about happiness at