thanksgiving in the valley

snowy path

We spent Thanksgiving at my stepmother-in-law’s house in the Shenandoah Valley. Daniel’s dad grew up in this area, so he took my sister-in-law and I on a walk down to the river. The town was quiet, blanketed in fresh snow.

winter tree in snow

snowy field

haint blue roof

At about this point on the walk, I realized I couldn’t feel my toes.

snowy path

winter river

They have a lovely dog I enjoyed petting while we waited for the turkey to finish cooking. Donna, the aforementioned stepmother-in-law, makes delicious brussels sprouts with bacon, which I greedily ate with a heaping mound of mashed potatoes.

dog face

candle bokeh

shallow dof

shallow dofWhen my sister was in town, I discussed with her how I’d really like to achieve a better bokeh effect by purchasing a 50mm lens. A photography major, she scolded me promptly, telling me that achieving a shallow depth of field had everything to do with knowing how to adjust manual settings, not with buying more equipment. Although I was a bit embarrassed by the chastisement, I knew she meant well. And she was right. Too many wannabe photographers (like myself) think better equipment will automatically equal a better photo. All the while, we fail to take advantage of all the specifications and adjustments our fancy-schmancy cameras already provide. I read up on dof, then tinkered around with my camera outside until it started to rain. I’m pleased with these first attempts at achieving shallow dof.

fall branches n3 green purple bush 2 n8 n10 n11I leave you with this photograph of my favorite, naked tree.

bare tree