Monday, May 10, 2010

oh yea, the technical mumbo jumbo. >> Utah Birth Photographer

i couple of you have e-mailed or commented about lighting for the birth story, thanks for reminding me! i was going to write about it but forgot. =)

lens wise, i used my 50 mm f/1.4 the WHOLE TIME. didn't switch once. i also upgraded to the NIKON D700 about 6 weeks ago and let me tell you, there is NO.WAY. i could have shot this on my D300 and ended up with the same results. i actually brought the D300 and put the 17-55 lens on it so i could shoot with two cameras, and it was pointless because my ISO just couln't hack it on that camera.

straight up, the lighting was a little tricky. one, it was D A R K. like, really dark. we were going for quiet and relaxing, so all the lights were off except for one small fluorescent light over the sink on one side of the room. the labor shots were all shot at about f/2.2-2.8, 1/50 sec. and ISO 4000. I dropped as low as 3200 ISO and went up to 5000 on a few. told ya it was dark! haha!
once the actual delivery started, we turned on the light in the bathroom and opened the door which helped with the ambient light, plus they turned on this spotlight thing that shined right on (well, you know). so it was still quite dark in the room and then there was a VERY bright light right on the baby. those shots and most of the subsequent shots were taken at 1/250, f/2.5 and ISO 2000. I definitely had some hot spots though, but it was sortof the best middle ground.

i did not and would probably never use flash or artificial lighting of any kind. it seems as if it would be very intrusive and there is no way i would have gotten all the shots of baby with his eyes open... like these ones. haha! =)


abrambirth177

11 comments:

TravisJ said...

Awesome thanks for the lighting tips. My wife delivers next month and I'm excited to try this out.

Terese said...

How is it that they aren't super grainy? Is that a quality of the D700? The photos are amazing. They brought tears to my eyes even more than when I see new photos of babies I actually know! You really captured the emotion. Do you think when you photography people, you are looking for that emotion so somehow you become connected with your subjects?

Aria said...

You did a fantastic job capturing the sweet emotion and handling the tricky lighting so well! I can't wait to get the D700! So glad to hear it handles high ISO's better. Good job not using the flash...you would've lost the intimate look and feel. Beautiful work - thanks for sharing!

Marla said...

Wow! Thanks for posting that information. Very kind of you, my lady!

danielle aanerud said...

such BEAUTIFUL pictures!

Zane and Lexi said...

wow, these are just beautiful. makes me wish I had someone there at my baby's births. so... I'm about to upgrade and can't decide between the D300 or D700. what are your thoughts on the two, having worked with both?? I'd love to know!

Jessica Kettle said...

terese, the iso sensitivity of the d700 is aaaamazing. i used to get reeeallly nervous if i had to shoot above 800 IS0 (or above 400 for portraits) and now i don't bat an eyelash. today i took newborn pics with 1000 ISO and they're perfect.
i definitely am always looking to connect to my subjects so that they are more able to connect to eachother comfortably in front of me, as well as connect with the camera- if that makes sense.

Lexi, hands down get the d700. like, no question. it's totally worth waiting and saving up the extra $$! i'm obsessed with mine and can't believe how big of a difference it has made for me! i don't worry about the little things i was getting hung up on before, particularly ISO and focus. i just show up, do my job and trust that my camera is doing the job too!

Follow Your Art Photography said...

I love the slightly grainy look, it's got such a film quality to it. Glad you love your D700, I love mine :)

Kelli Nicole said...

Those are really beautiful pictures! I photographed a photographer friend's birth a month ago and I flat out asked her if she preferred that I use (off camera) flash or just use a high ISO (with my 5DMKII) and she asked that I use flash. I told her if she ever wanted it off to let me know, and I didn't use it the entire time as much of the labor was during the day. I also got shots of the baby right after birth with his eyes wide open, but I would typically shoot a birth sans flash (which is what I did during my sister's hypnobirth).

Zane and Lexi said...

thanks for the advice jess! just one more question :) did most of your lenses switch over from your previous camera?? I'm worries that I'll have to invest in new lenses on top of that pricey camera...
glad to know you love the full frame - I think I'll just have to save up!

Jen Herem said...

i just got the 700 as well. love it.