November 17, 2013

Finding the Light

It has been two weeks since I last picked up my camera to take a photo of Nicki. Two weeks! Before the move I was managing to take photos at least four or five days a week. They were usually nothing special (bath time, playing with toys) but at least I was taking them. I don’t even know where the good light is in our apartment. I decided to rectify that this weekend and have another go at the pearl photos.

pearls take two
Love those lashes!

Back at our old place the window was at the foot of the crib. Her room faced West, so by about four o’clock or so (depending on the season) the light would just stream into the nursery. I’d use the blinds as a poor man’s defuser, and got the kind of photos you saw previously. If I stood by the window there was very little shadow, standing by the side of the crib and I would get the really nice profiles. It was usually one of my go to spots for Nicki photos.

Since her new room faces west-ish, it was the first place I thought of.

I figured the afternoon would be the best time to shoot in our new place as well. Her room gets hot in the afternoon, hot from heat generated by the sunlight. Alas the sun, window, and crib don’t line up as nicely here. The blinds here don’t work as well as a defuser. They are the vertical kind where you have much less control over how much light is coming in between each blind. Strips of light are always peeping through at least one slat, which don’t look very nice in photos. I had to wait until the light was no longer directly on the crib which only gave me a twenty minute window before the sun slipped behind the edge of the building and the room was too dark. Another (minor) issue was the position of the crib. It was against the back wall rather than right up against the window. In that position the railing blocks the light, especially when using a backdrop. In the above photo the light source is actually to her left. Most of the light blocked by the crib, and her face is illuminated from the right by the light bouncing off the wall. It’s really pretty, but I had to shoot at a higher ISO and a wider aperture that I was hopping for.

This morning I was in Nicki’s room fixing the blinds and noticed that her room was actually very bright in the early morning hours. That’s when it dawned on me that her room was actually hot during her nap time (1 pm) not late afternoon. It takes time for the room to warm up, which means the room has been bright for a while. At our old place her room didn’t start warming up until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Morning is the way to go! Low ISO, tight aperture and I can still avoid motion blur.

Next time I’ll know better!

Trying to be artsy
After being over zealous with the saturation, brightness and contrast.

The one area where we’re really lacking is the uncluttered wall by a mirror and light source like I used for my bump shot maternity photos. That was also the same place I took the avatar photo of myself with my camera. I will miss that spot.

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