Lights: Theme Thursday (The Fail Edition)

Oh, the very specific ideas I had for this week’s theme.  Tonight was our town’s holiday parade, and with the girls marching with their American Heritage Girls troop, I figured it would be the perfect time to capture some gorgeous Christmas lights.  The problem with that is that I should have had oh, I don’t know, a little bit of practice or an inkling of a plan.  A smidgen of talent wouldn’t have hurt, either.

As much as it hurts me to do it, I’m going to submit a few “fails.”  If you’re a photographer or even if you just have any tips on how to improve this type of photo, please share in the comments.


Blurry-faced bokeh



This was what a was going for.  A profile with lots of pretty bokeh bubbles in the background.  The problem I found was that when it’s dark enough for the bokeh, it’s also reeeeeeally difficult to get a sharp focus on the subject.  Oh, and my kids don’t stay still for 3 seconds, so that’s a problem too.

And I’ve bred some sassy kids who intentionally compromise photos. That makes it hard too.





Like, totally psychadelic


Ay ay ay.  Too much light on the tree, obvi.  What I do  like about this one is the trippy blue light.  I promise you, the tree didn’t look even the slightest bit blue to the naked eye.  Demon light?  You decide.



Candle, candle, burning bright



Lesson: never ask a child to pose blowing out a candle.  What will happen, you ask?  Well, even if the lighting is perfect, it may look like said child is in a trance, about to eat the flame.


Now for some slightly less terrible photos:


Morning light in Palm Desert this past week




Some fun bokeh bubbles, straight out of the camera


Are you prepared for me to get a little (a lot) cheesy?


The lights of my life (minus their daddy, of course)


Double linking with Cari’s Theme Thursday Awesomeness and Jen’s Quick Takes Fabulousness.  Go visit both of them for more light and love.


  1. #7 is the best, obviously! And I have zero advice to offer you (someone mark this day down on the calendar) because although I take a lot of pictures I have exactly no clues what I am doing,
    Kendra recently posted…Because Sometimes Folks Just Need to Get Punched: 7 Quick Takes XXXVIIMy Profile

  2. And that is why I shoot everything on my point and shoot auto setting. When people start talking apertures and shutter speeds and ISOs, my eyes just glaze over and my brain can’t take it. The last two are definitely gorgeous, though!
    Mary @ Better Than Eden recently posted…7(not)QT – Crazy Paintathons, Reminders, St. Nicholas, and MoreMy Profile

  3. I don’t think any of them are super fail-y. I do like the trippy blue tree though. Did you slow your shutter speed way down? I mostly mess with that if I’m not getting the result I’m looking for. But I am not our primary family photographer.
    Madeline recently posted…7 Quick Takes: St. Nick VersionMy Profile

  4. For bokeh, bump down that aperture and move your kids a little farther from the tree. Focus on them and the lights will do their thing. Shutter speed should never be below 125 for movement. It depends on the time of day and where I am as to what I set my ISO at. I’ve gotten some great advice from Kristen Duke about that very thing. Tried it out last year and loved the results!
    Kathryn recently posted…7 Quick Takes: The Big Apple, a Crowbar and the Star of TexasMy Profile

  5. I like all of them, but your #7 is the best. Your kids are adorable…and I love their expressions. And, I think your photos look great…athough I am so clearly not a photographer. The candle trance one is pretty cool too…and I’m super impressed you go that. My kids would not be able to resist blowing out the candle.
    Amelia @ One Catholic Mama recently posted…WIWS and Advent/Santa thoughtsMy Profile

  6. LIGHT OF MY LIFE!!! That is the BEST EVAH!!!! Your pics are great. Now, I know I’m not going to get any school done today, or children feeding, or laundry, because I’m going to be playing around with my camera all day. Loved the post!!
    Susan recently posted…Girls (and boys) Get Your Guns!! – The Sporting Clay Tradition ContinuesMy Profile