I’m sure you have tons of questions right now. Like what is bokeh? Are those headphones? How did you do that? How did you become such an awesome photographer?? All these questions and more will be answered. Just sit tight.
So what is bokeh? Well bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke, which means “blur” or “haze.” In photography terms, the “blur” or “haze” is the way the lens renders out-of-focus light. You may have noticed some circles, or hexagons, in some images that are close-up, like this one for example:
Those circles would be referred to as bokeh. There are many ways to manipulate the background, and make the bokeh more or less noticeable. I am a huge fan of bokeh, and try to use it when it enhances the photo. For example, with this ornament picture above, it could easily just be an ornament with a blurry background, but the circular bokeh lighting, gives it that holiday flair.
So how did I make circular bokeh into headphones? A Bokeh Masters Kit of course! I bought a kit for $25 which comes with different shaped filters that you put over your lens, from stars, to smiley faces, to headphones, horses and everything in between. The headphone filter is my absolute favorite. Night photography works the best for bokeh, so Stephanie and I ventured out to Santa Monica Pier where the beach is dark, and the pier is full of lights. To get the bokeh effect, you have to completely make your image out of focus, and it requires a lot of patience and trial and error. After a couple of tries I was able to make the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel go from this:
My absolute favorite bokeh picture did not come from the Ferris Wheel, but came from the Roller Coaster. I kept a slow, but not too slow, shutter speed, and I opened my aperture as much as I could to get the dynamic colors of the moving roller coaster.
Bokeh is an awesome experiment and you can never get bad results. If you are thinking of trying the bokeh technique out I would highly suggest buying the Bokeh Masters Kit. Over 20 different bokeh filters, for only $25! Share your results with me!
Back in October, my wife Stephanie, my mom, Nellie and I took a trip up to Humboldt County to visit my sister and celebrate her 21st birthday. If you are unfamiliar with exactly where Humboldt County is, or the distance between where I live (Long Beach, CA) and Humboldt County here is this trusty map:
Yep. 12. Long. Driving. Hours.
I drive a 2006 Scion xB, a comfy little car, but that comfy car becomes quite cramped traveling with two other people, their crap, my crap, plus the dog, and her crap (not literally), plus food and drinks. To top it all off, my dad bought my sister a giant, decorated cookie that he wanted us to take up to her. Not a problem. It wasn’t until I picked up the cookie that I realized this could be a problem. It was in a flimsy box, plus it was semi heavy for a cookie. How can a cookie last 12 hours on a car ride without A. it being eaten and B. it not crumbling to pieces?
I prepared for option B. Thinking of awesome puns and cliches I could tell my sister. “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.” “You can’t have your cookie and eat it too.” “Why are you upset? Do you have a chip on your shoulder?” “Oh no! The cookie broke! I feel crummy.” *insert laugh track here* *and snare drum* *wait for applause*. Anyway, I took a picture of it, just in case, so at least she could see the before picture. We ventured off and made the long ride up to Humboldt County. I made Stephanie in charge of the cookie detail and it sat on her lap the whole 12 hours up to Humboldt. But, every time there was a bump, or every time Steph wanted something to eat, or if she wanted to stretch, or sleep, it was a struggle and I’m sure this was going on in her head:
Man, I love that movie. Anyway on the way up we went down the Avenue of the Giants. HUGE redwood trees everywhere! We couldn’t believe our eyes. So we pulled over to the side of the road and snapped some pics.
Oh and Steph is 5’2″ for comparison. She actually looks pretty tall compared to that tree for whatever reason lol.
I will get to the story of this lonely hat in the near future. Anyway, we met up with Meghan and her boyfriend Craig once we hit Eureka, and our weekend consisted of going to an authentic pumpkin patch! The type where you get to pick your own pumpkins!
It was pretty awesome. And of course traveling while traveling we run into this:
Again, I will get to the story of this hat in the near future. We traveled up the hill to Meghan’s school, Humboldt State University to show Stephanie around since she’s never been up there. Meghan ended up taking us to the back of the school where there was a lake and some trails.
We then ventured into Arcata and went to the square where they were having their farmer’s market. I swear everyone from town was at this farmer’s market selling their organic fresh crops, flowers, oil, and pickles! We were in heaven and ended up buying a few things. Next stop on our adventure weekend was Sequoia Park, where I ended up taking most of my photographs. It was simply amazing, and I’m sure the photos speak for themselves.
Last day in Humboldt County, Meghan and Craig wanted to take us to the Jetty and barbecue. The Jetty is awesome. The current from the water crashes against these rocks and makes huge waves. Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of that because I didn’t want to get wet (I know, I’m a pansy), but I did manage to get this:
Oh and did I mention the Jetty had a swing? Yup a swing someone made with a branch and some rope.
After awhile, we cared about nothing more than enjoying this swing, which in all honesty is the reason I didn’t get a picture of the water crashing on the rocks (oops hehe). That and the amazing food Craig fired up on the grill.
All in all though, I was sad to leave my sister, but I was able to get some awesome pictures, and most importantly the cookie was safe!
And to top it all off, we never even got a bite of that damn cookie!
Ashley Berger-Rivera Photography will be sponsoring Early Childhood Education Club’s Children’s Fall Event at Santa Monica College!
The event will take place Saturday November 17th from 10am-1pm. There will be story-telling, puppet making, face painting, art, games, sports, music, and much more! PLUS the event is FREE!
We will be there teaching photography, so be sure to bring you and your little ones by. We look forward to seeing you!
My mother wanted to take me to a place that she used to take me and my siblings when we were young, and that place is the Cabrillo Beach Tide Pools. Now my mom kept telling me we are going to go to the tide pools, we are going to go to the tide pools, we are going to go to the tide pools! For whatever reason that didn’t sink in, because I had no clue what a tide pool was. I was thinking “Oh a tide pool, like at the aquarium where I can pet the starfish in a tank.” I was wrong.. obviously. So me being bright, I wore some loose fitting jeans, a black shirt, some socks that slipped off my foot into my shoe, and some slip on shoes. Little did I know this place is covered in rocks. Not just any rocks… wet, slippery, loose rocks. If you have read my previous blog about Los Penasquitos, I swear I am not always like this! (Ok well most of the time.)
Upon arriving to the tide pools I was feeling a little bit queasy due to the rolling hills of Rancho Palos Verdes, and from my excitement my mom was giving off because of the tide pools! My mom, my trusted dog Nellie, and I venture on down to the tide pools. We walk across this wooden bridge thing next to these bushes, and it smelled heavily like urine. Like if someone had a bucket of urine and like threw it everywhere! I am not exaggerating and my mom didn’t even comment on the smell. I don’t know how she could stand it. We get to the edge of the bridge and my mom says “Oh that’s not good!” and she drags the dog away from this feathered object on the ground. What type of feathered object do you think could be at the beach? Pigeon? Seagull? Pelican? An object a hippy made with the combination of feathers from all those birds? You would be wrong! The feathered object was not one, but two chickens!! Chickens! Not just any chickens though, dead, headless chickens just laying at the end of the bridge to the entrance into the tide pools. My first thought: “Where the hell did my mom bring me?” Second thought: “Why are there chickens?” So we move past the shock of chickens and I head down close to inspect the water and I almost step on a dead sting ray! WTF is up with this place right?
Aside from the urine stained entrance, the dead, headless chickens, and the dead stingray, this place was beautiful! I felt one with the ocean, it was kind of weird. Nobody was there, the waves were crashing on the rocks, little crabs were running by, it was amazing. I could’ve spent all day there capturing the way the water moved around the rocks, and the way the water went from a deep blue to a bubbled white. Not only that but to capture the texture of the rocks caused by the waves crashing on them repeatedly.
We were there about half an hour to 45mins, and we weren’t even a quarter of the way around the tide pools, and my camera starts beeping. Low battery. Story of my life I swear!
Name My Photo Contest Time! Ok so comment on my Facebook Page with a better name for this photo (my super original creative name for this picture is “Lonely Hat” lol). Remember to keep it PG-13 folks. But have fun with it. Most of you should know my sense of humor. Winner will get a FREE 8×10 print of this image sent to their house plus 20% off a photoshoot or anything on my website, and this picture will actually be named the name you chose. Plus anyone who participates will get FREE shipping on my website that they can use anytime in the future. This contest runs weekly so if you don’t win this week you may win next week. Contest ends Thursday at 11:59pm PST and results will be announced Friday as well as a new contest. Share this with your friends, family, your dog, whoever. Have fun
1. Must like Ashley Berger-Rivera Photography on Facebook.
2. The name can be anything, just keep it PG-13.
3. You can comment as many times as you like.