My New Portrait Lens

It arrived yesterday, (yay!) and almost made me husbandless.

See, I hadn’t told Jeff I was ordering it – not because I was trying to hide it, but just because it didn’t come up.. so he wasn’t happy when he saw the link to it at the bottom of my last post. Happily for me, fate intervened and just at that moment his coworkers threw him a surprise baby shower!

How sweet is that? We got some really nice loot, plus a $500 gift card to Babies R Us, which is so incredibly generous and useful I almost cried when he called to tell me.

So now I have the awesome camera body plus portrait lens and no subject (and very little light because it’s been pouring non stop since Tuesday!)

Luckily sammy indulged me long enough this morning so I could try the new lens out on her:

See how her nose is perfectly in focus but everything in the background is blurred (bokeh in fancy photographer speak) ?

That’s exactly the set up I want to be able to take great portraits of Jasper!

Even inanimate objects look more artistic through this super fast lens, like this close up of Jasper’s angel mobile:

So now that I hope to be taking some nice pictures, I need to figure out what to do with them all. I know about making photobooks using services like “My Publisher” but what I really wanted was to sort of make my own baby journal book.. like Jasper’s first year. But instead of filling out another pre-published book I want to do my own layouts.

I started researching the whole idea and came across the phenomenon known as “Digital Scrapbooking.”

Yes, I am aware I am probably the last person to know about this, but its this whole new world for me and I’m really excited to try it!

In my initial zeal upon discovering digi scrapping, I saved some inspiration images, here are just two layouts (sorry I can’t credit the designers) that I had saved so that if you hadn’t heard of it either you’ll know what I’m talking about:



The whole idea is so right up my alley.. it’s computer based, you don’t have to make a mess and have suitcases full of papers, ribbons etc and the possibilities are endless! Oh, wait, that’s not such a great thing for me.. it will probably take me weeks to do one page because those of you that have been reading this blog from the beginning know that I stress and agonize over every single design decision! Still, it won’t keep me from trying :)

20 Responses to “My New Portrait Lens”

  1. Just before my son was born, I saw a scrapbooking idea where you take a picture of your baby next to the same stuffed animal each month. At the end of a year, you have a series of pictures that capture how much your baby has grown over the course of twelve months.

  2. Yvonne, what a cute idea, thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the lens: I must get it immediately.

    Also, too funny: I just discovered digital scrapbooking online, too. Except people probably use Photoshop for that, ha? And I’ve always been Photoshop impaired…

  4. Yes Lou, you must get it! It’s really the best deal out there lens wise.

    And you must learn to love the photoshop!! I took some of the free tutorials from this website and it changed my life. Ok, that’s a bit dramatic but a lightbulb definitely went off :)

  5. I love the photo of your dog. What camera do you use and which lens did you buy?

  6. Hi Jan, information about both in yesterday’s post!:
    It’s a canon dslr rebel xsi (aka eos 450) and there’s a link to the lens at the bottom of the post..

  7. Trust me, you will become addicted to digital scrapbooking! You will be so glad you can document your baby’s life from the beginning. Some great sites with great tutorials are and I love reading your blog; best of wishes as the baby’s arrival draws near!

  8. I’m so impressed with those two shots! I’m glad you are not husbandless – thank goodness for the baby shower!

  9. I *love* digital scrapbooking! Some of my favorite sites are, and Individual designers I like are Heather Ann Melzer, Ali Edwards, Paislee Press and Taylormade Designs. I definitely recommend you check ’em out, but be warned that it’s very addicting.

  10. Leah, I’m glad too!

    Casa, thanks so much for the links! Is there anywhere I can see your layouts? Great, just what I need.. another addicting hobby that will cost me money – though it is a lot cheaper than home renovating! :)

  11. Ariana, of course it all depends on the light you were working with, but what settings did you use on those photos?

  12. Lou, there was very little light, plus I wanted the bokeh so I had the lens all the way open to 1.8. I think the shutter speed was about 1/60th or so.. there wasn’t enough light for anything faster!

  13. Ariana,
    Just a reminder; about those before and after shots of the completed nursery. You should do those before your nursery is never neat and tidy again, like sometime in the next 15 days.

  14. Hi!

    I’m so excited that you are going to be getting into digi scrapbooking! I thought I would pass along a few links to some great designers! Jessica Sprague is amazing and on her blog she does free tutorials on all things digi. Ali Edwards is also great. She has just started getting into digi scapping and does mostly hybrid stuff….but her blog gives free tips etc. too, so it is worth checking out. ENJOY!! (click her blog link to the left) (make sure to check the archives) (great place for ideas, tutorials, and purchasing…try the “Sis digital boutique)

  15. You’re so right LSA! Thanks for the reminder. All I have to do is put the mobile together (which I will do this weekend) and will hopefully post everything early next week.

    Kristen, thank you so much for the links, going to check them out right now..

  16. 1.8! That’s awesome. I think my current lens will only go to 5.6?

  17. Lou, that’s what the special “portrait” lens does.. it opens up waaaay wider than the kit lens (the rebel kit lens is also 5.6 max aperture), so it lets tons more light in, plus because the focal range gets closer as you get wider, you get the blurred background more. :)

  18. Wow – Wow – Wow

    You leave me speachless! I’m a new reader of yours and your pictures are truly amazing! I’m already looking forward to my next visit!

  19. I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it.
    For digital scrapbooking check out It is a nice way to show off your stuff. Then, the mecca of finding free papers, elements and templates is

  20. what about Blurb for the baby book? I downloaded the software, but haven’t used it yet. After publishing, you can purchase copies for the grandparents etc.

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