This post probably would have been more useful about two weeks ago -- but it's better late than never, right? (Unless it's too late...)
So there's this beautiful, relatively straightforward photography technique called bokeh.
It requires a little trial-and-error, but you can end up with amazing photos like this one:
To take your own bokeh photos, you'll need some Christmas lights and a camera with a relatively large/fast aperture. Then:
1. Use the larger end of your aperture, which pulls your background (the lights) out of focus and turn into balls of light. It'll look especially artistic if you have a subject (like the beautiful Ruby Snoofer) in front of the lights.
2. Increase the size of your lights by getting further away from your subject (the thing that's in-focus -- in this case, Ruby).
3. Weirdly, if you cut out a shape and stick it on your camera lens like a stencil, it'll make all the lights look like the shape you made. Whether that's a dog bone:
Confused? Watch this great video. It explains everything way better than I did -- and the guy includes lots of helpful tips at the end.
And hopefully, I'll continue to be a bokeh inspiration. If you've got some photos you'd like to share, I'd love to see them. Find me on Facebook or Twitter!