Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Take better photos

(This was actually written yesterday afternoon)
12:57pm I'm writing this blog for later posting since our cable is currently down. You forget how dependent you are on the internet until you don't have it for a while. In this case, it's been a couple of days. Tim accidentally cut the cable while gardening Saturday (we're both perplexed as to why the cable was so close to the surface). The repair guy will be here at some point today. So of course I'm housebound. I thought I'd be super-responsible and get lots done since I don't have the internet (or tv, but I never watch tv during the day anyway because Stella will try and watch it too), but I forget that I still have books. And I can do stuff on my computer that doesn't require the internet. I did start trying to write, but only got about half a page in before losing interest.
I read a great book Saturday afternoon about how to photograph your baby. I bought it at the monster library book sale a few months back and intended to read it before Stella arrived. That didn't happen, but I decided to read it Saturday and I'm so glad I did! It only took me about half an hour to read and I have already had great results. I took pictures Sunday morning and afternoon and they turned out better than any others I'd taken in the entire time Stella's been around. I used to take pretty good pictures, but digital has kind of screwed me up. It just doesn't work as well as film. But anyway, this book basically recommended some really simple steps which have already had a tremendous impact on my photographs. 1) Get really close to your subject. He said that most baby photographs are really a document of your living room. Good point. He said get close to your baby and fill the frame with them. 2) Turn off the flash and use natural light. He recommends putting your baby parallel to a window and taking pictures that way. It will create really cool shadow on one side of their face and light on the other and lots of drama. 3) Take lots of pictures. He'd written the book in the time of film photography, so he tells you not to be afraid to waste film, but in the time of digital, this is easy as pie. I just kept snapping continuously and then afterwards you can delete what you don't want. 4) Never center your subject in the middle of the frame. It's boring. 5) pay attention to the background. You don't want the Washington Monument growing out of Junior's head. Although if you fill the frame with your baby, this won't be an issue. 6) clothes are distracting, take pictures of your baby naked or just in a diaper. I haven't followed this one yet because once I have the clothes on, they ain't coming off unless they have poop or pee on them. But I'm sure he's right about this one also.If anyone wants to borrow the book, let me know. I think the shots I've taken speak for themselves, although the one on the left is way too dark. Now I want to get a better camera:)
yay, the cable guy just called and he'll be here in 20 minutes. Although this will probably be smack-dab in the middle of when i feed stella, of course...


Fire Berry said...

Stella's looking great Julie!

and at least your cable guys are coming out soon -- we have satellite, and they put us on the repair list -- which is two weeks long. We told them we could have Time Warner Cable out to hook up cable within 24 hours.



Tim said...

Normally cable isn't that fast at getting out to you (especially if you want a weekend), but apparently if you cut your cable they put you on an emergency list... The person on the other end of the phone was reacting like it was a life and death emergency.
Of course if your cable isn't working like when the lack of a ground was shorting out our cable box, but in the office it looks like it is. Then it takes a while to get someone out.

Kate said...

Lack of cable at our house is a major emergency. When the internet is broken, we are lost. Maybe we need some more in our lives.

I love the pictures-- especially the second one. I am in love, love, love with that girl! I need to read that book next time I come see you. This time I'll bring Uncle Ryan and you won't be able to get rid of us. :)