Saturday, April 07, 2012

Take a picture, it will last longer

I was REALLY excited this morning to attend Heather Barta's "Life at Play" photography workshop geared specifically at moms interested in photographing their children. I've had my "nice camera" for a couple years now (wow! More than that even, now that I look!) and I've pretty much only used the manual settings and never been able to figure out lighting/flash use very well. a
The Cupcake doesn't hold still for long (or at all) these days, and while she is cute as a button in "real" life, she's not terribly photogenic, and I keep catching her at moments like this:
(no, we didn't feed her lemons. Pretty sure that pucker is all about teething - bringing on the molars).
Much to the grandparents' dismay, I've been struggling and not really taking a lot of photos or getting good shots lately, so this came up as a great time.
I didn't learn anything groundbreaking, but I learned exactly the basics I needed to dramatically improve my photos - the basic shutter/aperature/ISO triangle and how to change said settings on my camera (a few things that were NOT in the manual!). We had a short "lesson", fiddled with our cameras, and then got to practice on Heather:
And then she brought in some of her clients for us to practice what we had learned on:
We descended like paparazzi :)
Perhaps the biggest "tip" I got was the advice to buy a new lens - the "kit" lens most of us had only went down to a 3.5 aperature, which meant we needed a very high ISO to counter for the dreary day, or indoors in general. Even then, I felt like my pics were a little flat, or the high ISO risked being grainy. Heather let us try her preferred 50mm/1.4 aperature and the difference was AMAZING:
it felt a little weird because you don't have zoom, you have to mover yourself instead. But the difference in photos was instantaneously apparent. Since one of my major problems has been lighting, the larger aperature helps immensely - letting more light in without trying to manipulate the flash is easier and more flattering. I was convinced. I hit National Camera on my way home and came home with a similar lens - 35mm 1.8 aperature, which allows me a slightly bigger field. I raced home and couldn't wait for The Cupcake to wake up from her nap so I could try it out:
I still caught a few pretty terrible/hilarious faces, such as this shriveled gnome during dinner time:
But even then, it's well lit and a way better photo overall! (She was actually laughing, but I guess it's an ugly laugh. I about had tears when I saw it, from laughing so hard myself!) That's banana all over her nose.
I'm definitely looking forward to getting some egg gathering shots tomorrow if the weather agrees (and if I can chase TC quickly enough). Grandmas, I'm working on sending you both some photos! I promise now! And while it may be bold, I'm also ready to cross off the other half of #12 on the bucket list - Learn to take great photos and get a “real”
camera. I'm sure I'll continue to improve, but I think I've taken a GIANT leap forward and I'm feeling pretty good about it so far!
Now if only I wasn't already 13 months behind on scrapbooks...

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Every time I see the gnome face I giggle hysterically. Thanks for brightening my day :-)