Intro & Birth Photography Question

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Posted 2/21/2013 by sparklecat in General Photography
 

sparklecat
Just one more post!

PeaNut 547,100
March 2012
Posts: 10
Layouts: 0
Loc: Houston, Texas

Posted: 2/21/2013 9:43:47 AM
Hi all-

I've been lurking here and on the general scrapping board for almost a year...and thought it might be time to make an introduction! I have recently made a conscious effort to improve my photography skills...finally venturing out of "auto"...lol!

My question is about a home birth I will be shooting any day now...The lighting will not be great whether baby comes during the day or at night. It's an older home with paneling on the walls that makes the rooms darkish overall. Ceiling lights and a few lamps will be on...and might help a little. I was wondering what was more important...shutter speed or aperture in a situation like this.

I don't want to try and shoot in full manual...not ready for that and don't want to miss the birth fiddling with settings...but I'm not sure full auto is going to give me great pictures.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...I would love to have some general setting suggestions, etc.

I'm using a Canon Rebel t2i with the kit lens...I also have a canon efs 55-250mm lens.

Thanks in advance for your help!!



Sandy

Until only love remains...

cindylou62
PeaAddict

PeaNut 251,766
March 2006
Posts: 1,735
Layouts: 191
Loc: minnesota-brrrrrr

Posted: 2/22/2013 10:45:24 PM
Try and replicate the lighting scenario in a room in your home, have someone sit for you and shoot them. See what you think about that.

I am afraid you will not have enough light, and get alot of blurry photos because of a slow shutter with a kit lens. Could you rent or borrow a better lens from someone? Something wide with a 2.8 or better aperature?

Its an important event, one that can't be repeated, so practice a bit first. If you must use this lens then mybe use a tripod.

deragirl
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 300,444
February 2007
Posts: 2,196
Layouts: 77
Loc: Montana

Posted: 2/23/2013 1:01:38 AM
Welcome and good luck. I second the idea of either imitating the lighting conditions, or go to our friends house and practice. Then you can work around until you get what will work best with our equipment and skills. It might be frustrating at first, but a couple hours working on it now will save you on the big day.

Best of luck with it.


Susan Beth
My Blog

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 65,138
January 2003
Posts: 2,434
Layouts: 136
Loc: New York City

Posted: 2/24/2013 1:08:42 PM
Really good advice so far. Unless you can use a flash, which I don't think is a good idea anyway as it will likely be very distracting, you will likely end up with dark/blurry/out of focus shots. It is important to have a fast lens in a situation like this.

If you can't borrow a fast lens then this is a perfect opportunity to purchase one of the cheapest fast lenses out there. Many of us have it ... the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens. It retails for around $100 and is super great for low light situations. I'd also recommend practicing with it a bit if you are going to be using it at it's wider apertures. The DOF can be pretty shallow the wider you get.

Of course the trade off is that this is not a zoom, so you may find yourself somewhat limited in that regard. But it is fast and sharp.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

sparklecat
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PeaNut 547,100
March 2012
Posts: 10
Layouts: 0
Loc: Houston, Texas

Posted: 2/24/2013 4:56:28 PM
Thanks for all of your suggestions!

I've practiced with the camera in a room with similar lighting to where the birth will be. So far, I'm not getting any great pictures. The best exposure so far is on full manual and using a custom white balance.

I do have a tripod which will be necessary if I can't get a better lens for the shoot. I'm going to look into the suggested Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens...that may be the best route to go at this point...Or maybe I can talk my mom into letting me borrow her Canon 60D!

Thanks again for the tips!


Sandy

Until only love remains...

cindylou62
PeaAddict

PeaNut 251,766
March 2006
Posts: 1,735
Layouts: 191
Loc: minnesota-brrrrrr

Posted: 2/24/2013 9:30:07 PM
The 60D will be nice, but you would still have the same problem with kit lenses. It may handle higher ISO's better with less noise, but still you will have trouble with kit lenses.

KrisztinaK
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 65,138
January 2003
Posts: 2,434
Layouts: 136
Loc: New York City

Posted: 2/24/2013 9:40:43 PM
Can you get a faster lens and borrow the 60D? I have them both and they work really well in low light. You will have some noise at higher ISO's, that is unavoidable, but this camera handles noise very well at higher ISO's.



HHCC always welcome & appreciated !!

Canon 60D ... 30D & XT ... 24-105L f/4 IS ... 50mm f/1.8 ... 430EX ... Pocket Wizards ... PSCS6 & LR4

coolbeans
PeaFixture

PeaNut 341,583
October 2007
Posts: 3,185
Layouts: 84
Loc: Erie, PA

Posted: 2/25/2013 8:16:33 AM
I don't think the tripod will be much help in this instance because your subjects will be moving. You will need to get a fast enough shutter speed to stop the movement. Granted they won't be running etc but even small movements will cause blur.


Canon 7D and XTi
Jackie S.
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sparklecat
Just one more post!

PeaNut 547,100
March 2012
Posts: 10
Layouts: 0
Loc: Houston, Texas

Posted: 2/25/2013 9:35:15 AM
Hey Krisztina-

I'm looking at the lens you recommended online at Best Buy...

Canon - EF 50mm f/1.8 II Telephoto Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras

Is this the one you are referring to? Just making sure because it says telephoto...the one on Amazon (same model number) doesn't have "telephoto" in its description.

**UPDATE**
It is the same lens...I ordered it from Amazon...and it will be here tomorrow...Now if baby will just wait until it arrives! Will update after the birth to let you guys know if I got any good pictures!

Thanks!!



Sandy

Until only love remains...

memories5
StuckOnPeas

PeaNut 272,462
August 2006
Posts: 2,004
Layouts: 348
Loc: Indiana

Posted: 2/26/2013 10:03:06 AM
I hope you are allowed to post a few images because I love looking at them being a mom to 5 kids myself and taking lots of newborns I kinda am partial to that field Good luck!!!


Jennifer~
I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

sparklecat
Just one more post!

PeaNut 547,100
March 2012
Posts: 10
Layouts: 0
Loc: Houston, Texas

Posted: 2/26/2013 12:51:14 PM
Well as luck would have it...baby decided not to wait for my new lens to come in today. She was born this morning about 6am! She wasn't actually due for another week...so we had hoped we had plenty of time to not only get the lens in today...but to practice with it too...Oh well, the best laid plans and all that...lol!

As expected, I'm having to do a lot of color correction and exposure correction. Overall, the pictures turned out better than I expected...but they definitely aren't what I would consider great.

However, my friend knew my camera and lens weren't up to low light...and she was ok with that. At her first birth, she didn't get any pictures at all...so she said anything would be better than last time!

I did my best...and it was a learning experience. I already have some ideas for what to do differently next time.

Will post some pictures later if I get her permission to do so.



Sandy

Until only love remains...
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