Natural Light

Got home a bit early today and got to spend some quality time with the little guy. Just yesterday he was at his 9 month check-up and we mentioned that he hadn’t really started crawling yet. Well, one day after receiving reassurances from our family doc that he’s just fine, he’s begun crawling up a storm. He seems to be particularly fond of crawling after his storybooks so he can try and eat them. The Grouchy Ladybug is apparently one of the tastier selections in his library. After his evening bath-time routine (and a bit of a nap myself!), I got a chance to upload the pictures sitting on our camera including all of January. I’ve got a bunch of great shots to post (including ones from Las Vegas… I know, I know, I’m a slacker.) but I wanted to put up this one from the other day to show illustrate the benefits of natural lighting.

Since having our dSLR for a while, I’ve made a bunch of adjustments to the way I take pictures. I’ve stopped using auto, and I’m getting better and guesstimating where my aperture, ISO, and shutter settings need to be for a given photo. I’m also trying to use the histograms from the camera to make more intelligent adjustments on the fly. But most importantly, I’ve been focusing my efforts towards trying to avoid using the built in flash while taking pictures. It forces me to try and develop a steadier hand, but the warmth and emotion of photos just using natural light can’t be duplicated with the on-board strobe flash. For example, here’s a photo of Manu using the flash:
1/125; f4.8; ISO 500

And here’s one without the flash.

1/30; f5.3; ISO 500

Full disclosure: I did a bit of post-processing on both of these pictures. Nonetheless, the flash picture has an almost superimposed quality. Also, there’s an unnatural glare on the bottom of his cup, his nails, and his skin. The photo without the flash really gives a more true-to-life representation of the moment. And those were mostly backlit.

here’s an example with some natural front lighting, no post processing.1/40; f3.5; ISO 500

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One thought on “Natural Light

  1. hi there,speaking as a complete amatuer here, I want to note that the light angle cannot be overemphasized.When Jordan was about nine months old, I got the absolute best pictures of him ever because of a fluke of light on the table shining through the blinds. I noticed it and thought… pictures?? And sure enough – they came out great. And this was with a crap point and shoot camera.Anyway… I’m glad Manu is crawling. Jordan started at nine months too, and as you can see, he’s totally fine. We worry ourselves too much with this stuff.When he starts walking full on – then look out.I can’t wait to see you guys. April is too far away.S

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