Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Study of Babies & Cameras

This is each of my babies at 2 months old. The left one is Alana, Ava right smack in the middle, & clearly my Witten boy on the end. This side by side comparison does many things. Firstly makes me sad that Alana & Ava are so big now. Secondly it makes me extremely happy that I upgraded in the camera department and learned a little more about taking better pictures. Lastly it really confirms my decision to get a better camera. Yes that one counts twice because clearly it makes a difference.

When I was pregnant with Alana we bought our first digital camera. A Panasonic with about 6-8ish megapixels. My iPhone has more megapixels. It was also rocking incredibly slow shutter speed so that I usually missed whatever cute thing Alana was doing. So I bought another point and shoot when I was pregnant with Ava. A Kodak that was about 10 megapixels and still had kind of a slow shutter speed. Pictures were slightly improved, but the camera still had major limitations.

In January 2011 I took the plunge and bought my Canon dSLR and I've been smitten ever since. My only regret is not buying it sooner, but I honestly never even considered buying a big fancy camera that I had to set myself until I started a blog and began looking at photo blogs and other people's pictures. They were so clear. They weren't grainy. People weren't all washed out with flash and didn't have redeyes. I wanted that quality of pictures of my kids.

Buying that camera was hard to do, because spending that much on one item that was just for me was difficult. But I've never regretted it. My pictures are 1,000 times better, plus I've taken the time to learn to take better pictures in general instead of just pointing the camera and shooting. Turning the dial to manual makes a difference too, because I decide what the picture should look like instead of letting my camera decide.

It always wants to use the flash, which I'm generally opposed too. I can't say its never useful though. There are some instances where it helps. My one exception to the I hate the flash! rule is when I'm already in a well lit area, but the lighting is uneven. My study of flash benefits can be proven with Disneyland photos.
The top pic was taken in February 2011, one month after I got my camera. I jumped right into using manual, so I told the camera what to do. Still, its not a great photo. The room is lit up enough, but unevenly. Everyone's faces are dark and shadowy. My camera in case you're wondering and know about camera settings is set to ISO 1600, shutterspeed 1/25s, fstop 5. The bottom photo was taken December 2011. The camera settings are ISO 800, shutterspeed 1/30s, fstop 4. Not a huge difference from the top. But I caved in and turned on the on-camera flash. I have to consent that it made for a better picture. The room is lit well enough, but because of the crazy jellyfish light fixtures everything is uneven. The flash just kind of filled in the blanks. You win for now stupid flash. Until I buy an off-camera flash and you are forever banished to the down position!

Even though my cameras both sucked when the girls were babies I still took a lot of pictures. They just suck. The amount of pictures that I take now is ridiculous. If I don't take a picture, at least of Witten who is growing at the speed of light, at least every other day, then I feel weird. Like I'm missing out on things. I didn't get to take his official newborn pics till he was one week old and that felt like forever. Those pics also made me glad for the camera.

Now I have tons of good quality pictures of my babies, so my pictures don't turn out like this.

These pictures of my girls, Alana on top and Ava on bottom, capture their sweet sleepy faces when they were both about 1 month old. But they're grainy and unclear. The flash is unflattering. I still regret the decision to have maroon bedsheets. These pictures are what I have from when they were small, for better or worse. Now with my Witten boy everything is a little clearer.

There is more detail and no flash. The natural light is way more flattering. And he is just so handsome.

No matter how good or bad the camera is/was, what is really important to me is that I have pictures of my babies, so I can remember how tiny they were. How cute they were. How much I was obsessed with taking pictures of them when they were babies. I can't change my kids baby pictures, I can only make sure that I take just as many right now while they are in the stages they're in now, because before too long I will be looking back at those pictures and thinking just how small and cute they were.


Joanna Marie said...

An excellent comparison! I've been playing with buying a decent dslr for a long while, and as of yet can't justify the price. :-P

Also, all your babies are super cute!

Jennifer said...

Thanks! I don't know if I would've taken the plunge and bought one if I hadn't suffered through using a point and shoot for awhile. I think it's really worth it when you have kids cause you always have something to photograph.

Joanna Marie said...

Yeah, I am pretty much rocking a point and shoot at the moment... LOL. But I have been wanting to get into taking my own photos as references to paint from, so getting a good camera is something of a must for that, since point and shoots barely take good photos as a photo, much less a photo anyone wants to paint from. :-P


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