Sunday, June 14, 2009

Baby A

Photographing a baby who can barely hold up his head is so much easier than trying to keep up with active older children! But I cannot imagine getting another chance to photograph as darling and as good natured a baby as A. is. My husband found this almost-4-month-old for me to try my hand at child portraiture and I learned a lot on this first attempt. I had no idea he has a 5 year old big sister until she came along for the shoot and she is just as precious as he is (and somewhat distracting while trying to focus on the baby). I tried several different set ups, even some shots in a basket like the mother wanted but A. was a little too big to fit comfortably in them. I think in this shot he looks like he is showing me what he really thinks of me and my camera! I used my 50mm 1.8 lens wide open to blur as much of the background as I could and also because the window was not letting in as much light as it does at other times of the year. I also added a flash with the softbox on camera left set at 1/128th power, for fill and to try to make the background blow out. I have no idea why the flash does not show as catchlights in his eyes like the windows do.

Camera info: Nikon D200, 50mm 1.8 lens at 1.8 and 1/90th, ISO 100, cloudy whitebalance
Post processing: cloned scratches off face, ran Touch of Light action to lighten the background, ran babyskin action to reduce red splotches, Creamsickle from Kubota at 75% opacity to soften background but masked off skin, Curves for contrast, selectively lightened dark areas of eyes with a levels adjustment, copied window catchlight to right eye as it did not have one, the Edge and the highpass filter in softlight mode for sharpening.


  1. Your choice of white all around him is perfect--it makes his eyes, mouth and hair stand out and it also makes you think "really young". I also like the moment with him blowing bubbles.

    The lighting is very good with just enough shadows on the right side to give the overall face a sense of dimension. You choice of f/1.8 really helps to highlight his facial features and softness everything around him.

    Good job.

  2. Cindi, you continue to underestimate your ability at portraiture. I struggle with eye shadows many times and I don't see an inkling of that in any of your recent posts. How adorable are those bubbles?? It's a really great portrait! Don't you wish we had the mentors then we have now when the kids were little?