Nobow Inspired By Some Classic Movies

Our Elf on the Shelf Nobow shows up in some weird places sometimes. Lately it seems as if he has been inspired by some movies that he has been watching. In the picture above you can see the influence from the movie E.T. in his hiding spot. It has to be hard to come up with a new place to hide for over a month straight. Houses are only so big, and hiding spots up high enough not to become a dog toy are hard to come by. It is cool to see Nobow drawing from many influences in where he hides.

Is Nobow The Last Jedi?

I was lucky enough to get to see The Last Jedi on opening night. It is a great movie, and one of the best Star Wars movies that I have seen. I think that even an elf can get excited about a new Star Wars movie coming out. I myself have loved Star Wars since I was a kid, and it is great to see the new movies come out. They make me feel like a kid again. The story of how George Lucas defied everyone to make the movie his way to great success is an inspiration for a struggling photographer as well.

Using My New Toy

As I always do around Christmas I bought myself a new little toy this week. The LitraTorch is a very small, but powerful light source that makes moments like this much easier to light. I am still getting used to it, but it is the size of a GoPro Session with great power. I used it to light the Star Wars scene, and I am sure that I will use it much more as the holidays get closer.


Nobow Returns For Another Month of Memories

Every year on the morning after Thanksgiving our elf on the shelf Nobow makes his return. Nobow is here to watch the kids and report on their behavior every night to the North Pole. When he returns from his trip up north every day he finds a new place to hide. The fun every morning is seeing just where Nobow is, and what he is up to. This year as you can see above he decided to try his hand at photography. I think being a free elf intern is probably more lucrative so he did not stay with the new hobby very long.

Christmas Comes At The Right Time

Every year when the leaves are gone from the trees I have a few days of depression. What little landscape work there is here seems to fade away pretty quickly. We are left with very little color. Christmas season starts and the color returns! Nobow and all of the other colorful aspects of Christmas give me something to shoot for a month or so. This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Breaking Out The Good Stuff

Photographing Nobow usually means that I break out a couple of lenses that I don’t use very often. My Canon 100mm f/2.8 and Canon 50mm f/1.4mm lenses don’t get a lot of use. They have a specific purpose, and come in handy when I need them. That being said I don’t really need them that often. When Nobow shows up I tend to rely on those two lenses for the season. I don’t know why I do this, but it is good that they get used. The 50mm 1.4 lens gives a great bokeh so that one is easy. You can see in the top photo what a great job it does. It turns Christmas lights into delicious bokeh.

Nobow Is Back In Our Home

Every year on the day after Thanksgiving our elf on the shelf Nobow comes back to us for about a month. Each morning we wake up and find him somewhere new. Sometimes he brings gifts and sometimes he leaves us notes. We leave him notes as well to give to Santa. He leaves us each night to report how we are behaving to the big man at the North Pole. I am sure that you will see more of Nobow as we approach Christmas. He is fun to photograph, and it is an easy subject.

Trying Out A New Toy

With a lot of lights around the Christmas holiday I bought a star filter for my 77mm lenses. It is kind of a gimmicky thing, but I thought that it would be fun. Each year when the leaves are finally gone I fall into a bit of a funk. The outside just does not look right, and my photography takes a hit for a short time. The Christmas season is a great way to get out and make some photos. I thought the star filter could jazz up some of those shots. Now that I have it and have used it a little I think I can open a Olen Mills studio in my house.

Our Last Day With Nobow

Today we will see Nobow for the last time this year. He will return as usual the day after Thanksgiving next year.This year he has once again made the month leading up to Christmas fun by making us guess where he is everyday. You see every night when we go to sleep Nobow flies to the North Pole to make his report to Santa. When he returns he hides in a different spot for us to find him. For his last day at our house he hid next to a clock which made me think that he was saying that it was time to go. We have had fun with Nobow who has spent the last month living with us. Now it is time for him to go back home to his family for the rest of the year.

Our Elf on the Shelf is Back For Another Year

I cannot believe that I made it until December 16th to post a photo of our Elf on the Shelf Nobow. Usually by now I have posted many photos of Nobow as he places himself in various places around our house. Nobow is an elf who does things that we would never expect him to do. We must have gotten up too early this morning though as we caught Nobow in the middle of shaving. He had just applied the shaving cream to his face, and had to stop as he must have heard someone coming. Who knows where Nobow will be tomorrow. One thing is for sure. He makes waking up from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve very fun as we cannot wait to see where Nobow has hidden himself.

The Elf on the Shelf Having Some Fun

Yesterday we woke up and found that we must have interrupted our Elf on the Shelf from eating his breakfast. He had a plate full of mini donuts, but he had not eaten them all. He did have some frosting on his mouth so I am sure that he must have eaten a few of them. It is fun to wake up each morning and see what Nobow has gotten himself into on that particular day. Every now and then I will post a photo of what Nobow is up to on this blog. He will be in our house until he travels back with Santa on Christmas Eve so there may be a couple of other photos of our boarder in the next couple of weeks.

The Elf on the Shelf

Every year our Elf On the Shelf Nobow appears. It is always an exciting time to see where he ends up in our house. I took this photo a couple of years ago as Nobow hung out with some of my step daughter’s stuffed animals. It really is a fun tradition to see what kind of hijinks that Nobow can get into. He can show up in some crazy places as he watches over our house for about a month leading up to Christmas.

Over the next few days I will be looking back at some of my favorite photos of the year. To start things off I wanted to do some of the photos that did not make it into any of the other categories. I had a hard time coming up with a name for this one due to the fact that it was such a wide range of topics. I guess still life kind of fits here. No matter what it is called here are my 13 favorite shots without people from this past year.

13.) The first photo here was taken at the Purdue Memorial Union just before Christmas. They have a gingerbread house competition between all of the dining halls. What comes of the competition is really something to see. This gingerbread house showing a scene from the movie ‘Elf’ was one of my favorites.

12.) The ‘Elf on the Shelf’ has become a great tradition in our house. Every year Nobow shows up after Thanksgiving, and leaves with Santa on Christmas Eve. He always surprises us with his hiding spot every day. Sometimes he even gets into our food. Here he is seen eating some icing from our gingerbread cookies.

11.) At the Purdue Memorial Union they have busts of all of the former presidents of the university. This Christmas one extra bust was added. I like the way that they fused the tradition of the Union with Christmas here.

10.) This statue of Laurel and Hardy was given to my father this past Christmas. There is something about this picture that I really like. It is for pictures like this that the title of the post is not my best of this past year, but my favorite.

9.) This photo has appeared twice now in a week. This is an out of focus picture that is something that I love. The bokeh of the Christmas Tree lights really does look great. This is the time of year to make some great portraits in the house. With this as a background how can you go wrong?

8.) Here is another image from AT&T Park. I really loved going to the park, but I took just a few minutes to explore the outside of it before going in. I knew that I wanted to see the Willie McCovey statue located on the other side of the cove that bears his name. There are some nice photo opportunities here, but I liked this one with the Bay Bridge in the background the best.

7.) While traveling along I come across some pretty interesting signs. For some reason this sign in Tipton, Indiana really stuck out to me. This is a place where you can fill your car and your stomach. The way that they have worded it though kind of makes you think that the food will not sit well with you. I had to pull off the road to make a couple of pictures here.

6.) Last February I was in Milwaukee for a couple of days. One of those days saw us at the Children’s Museum. Just outside of the museum is this great statue of kids saying the pledge of allegiance to the flag. In a world that doesn’t see the need to do that anymore this was a very cool gesture.

5.) One of the symbols of my hometown of LaPorte is this indian. This statue has always been near the courthouse in some capacity. I think that its current location just feet from the courthouse is a good one. Oe cold day last March I made this photo of the statue.

4.) This was my first real attempt at light painting. I was sitting in a dark room in the basement with only an old flashlight in my hand. I would then ‘paint’ the light onto my subject while the shutter was open on my camera. It was fun seeing the many ways that I could change the look with just a few strokes of my flashlight. This was a very fun experiment that gave me a desktop background for a few days.

3.) One of the highlights of this past year was going to AT&T Park to see the Giants play the Rockies. I have wanted to see this park for some time, and it was everything that I thought it would be. Seeing the Willie Mays statue in front of the park is a must. It is a great statue that can be photographed from many angles. This is a great memory from a much needed trip.

2.) This photo was taken during a horror expo in Columbus, Ohio. We were in town to get married when we saw that a few things were going on in the convention center. One was a horror convention. I really don’t like this kind of stuff, but I thought that it would make for a good picture or two. After having a fake zombie try and scare the pants off of me I came across these dummies. For some reason I have liked this layered shot of them since I took it.

1.) With the crazy processing that I applied to this photo I think that the Arnold statue takes number one this year. I really like how everything came together here. I knew that I wanted a different look, and I managed to do it. Of course the top two pictures come from a short weekend in Columbus. Maybe I need more time there to see what else the city has to offer.

Photo of Day

It is that time of year again when Nobow the elf comes back to our house. It has been very interesting to see where he decides to make his appearance everyday. A couple of days ago he decided to hang out with our Cubs gnome. He has found some interesting places, and he usually gets crazier as the season goes on. I am sure that I will have more pictures of Nobow before the end of the season.

Technical Data

The only real adjustment here was a small highlights adjustment in Lightroom. This is pretty much straight out of the camera.