Sunday, 30 January 2011

DIY: Bokeh filter

Bokeh, pronounced with a silent ‘h’ comes from the Japanese term ぼけ (bokeaji), meaning ‘out of focus’..

In this first DIY post, we will combine handicrafts with one of our interests: photography. We’d like to share an idea that allows you to achieve creative and original effects in your photos quickly and easily.

This technique involves deliberately blurring the photo’s background, either to focus attention on the subject in the foreground, or in this case, to create beautiful compositions, making the background the protagonist, in combination with lights and shapes. There are also a lot of groups on Flickr that can provide you with inspiration.

To create your home-made bokeh, all you need is:

-        A bright lens (ours is a Canon 50 mm, 1.8)
-        A piece of black card
-        Some scissors or a cutter
-        Black electrical tape or sellotape

1. Cut out a circle of card to the same diameter as your lens. In the centre of the circle, draw and cut out a shape you like (I tested it out with a star and a heart) measuring around 10-15 mm.

2. Make a kind of cover for the lens with another strip of card. You can even make it easier by leaving a set of tabs on the edge of the circle to attach it to the lens. Let your imagination run wild and just remember you can’t let too much light into the lens.

3. Place your “filter” on the lens and after setting the camera to the maximum aperture in order to work with the least depth of field, get snapping! The possibilities are endless and the more twinkling lights in the background, the better.

The lazier amongst you can buy ready-prepared kits here that contain filters featuring different shapes.

We’ll leave you with some home-made bokeh examples. Fancy giving it a shot? 


Friday, 28 January 2011

Forever 21

Big, bold and brassy like its home country, Forever 21 opened its first UK store on Friday 12th November in Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre. 

Having read about Forever 21 on US fashion blogs, I was happy to hear it was gracing UK shores and curious to see if it lived up to the hype. Its prices are low and quality is variable but 3 floors offer plenty of opportunities to sort the rough from the smooth. I spent about an hour and a half in there, tried on 12 items and then did another quick recce of the shop just to check I’d not missed anything. Here’s what I bought:

All in all, 7 items (2 pairs of over the knee socks, a bracelet, a necklace, a scarf, jumper and long skirt) for £61.60 (approx. 72,00 EUR) is pretty good especially if you divide it up to make yourself feel better, that’s £8.80 per item. Bargain.

Forever 21 is set to open other stores in the UK and in the rest of Europe. In Spain, it will be opening in Barcelona’s La Maquinita shopping centre in 2011 with plans to open later next year in Madrid.


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Let’s colour!

The Let’s colour! project run by British brand Dulux is a social initiative that aims to transform dull, grey spaces into areas bursting with vibrant colours. It’s been going since March 2010 and has already brought colour to the streets and squares of all five continents. In cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Paris, London, Jodhpur and Johannesburg, locals rolled up their sleeves and got involved with the project, which in turn has helped to create a sense of community, something so often missing from big cities.

The photos on their Flickr page are amazing but this short film by the Director Adam Berg is even more impressive. Using stop motion, the film shows the work carried out by a total of 650 people over six months in real-life locations.

On a grey day like today, which city wouldn’t benefit from a little colouring in?

Thursday, 20 January 2011

First things first


After too much time spent on the Internet looking at other blogs, we decided to make our procrastination constructive by starting one of our own. We’ll fill it with the things we like to see, do, wear, bake, make, and decorate. PolkaDotLighthouse aims to shine a light on a sea of loveliness, brought to you in English and Spanish by a wee Scot and a Spanish señorita.

We hope you like it.


The polka dot pattern is named for the dance of the same name, but there is no conceptual connection linking the pattern to the dance. Instead, the name was settled upon because of the dance's popularity at the time the pattern became fashionable. 

Source: Wikipedia
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