Saturday, April 9, 2011

Simply Bliss Week 1

I am currently taking my first photography class ever online with one of my favorite photography bloggers, Faith at Simplicity.

I am so excited to get down to basics and learn the little things that I never had an opportunity before.  Like how to wrangle the dreaded indoor light that is my nemesis.  Since my house has pretty terrible natural light (it's either superintense or nonexistent), I need to learn to conquer indoor light and rock my photos as best I can.  I'm already learning so much!

First we had to pose an inanimate, 3-dimensional object around our house and pay attention to how the light was affecting our photos.  My giraffe was much more cooperative about being still than my children!

I was happy to learn that I can get great lighting in my bedroom in the early afternoon (if it's sunny).  9 out of 10 of my indoor photos are taken in the living room or kitchen, but our bedroom is much prettier.  You'll be seeing that blue comforter more often!

Then we had to submit a SOOC shot (straight-out-of-the-camera) that had even tone and highlighted the subject's eyes while having good focus.  I originally submitted this one:

but there were still shadow on his right side.  I emailed Faith and sent her this one:

which she said was better, although there are still shadows and it is slightly overexposed.  I think I would have had better luck if I had moved myself so that my back was more to the window and he had to look more directly into the light in order make eye contact.  That would have decreased the shadow, I think!

I had a really hard time finding a good spot to shoot my final portrait for indoor light.  I wanted a blank background but there is truly no wall in our home that faces a natural light source.  If I want him to face the light, he has to turn away from the wall and I lose my background.  I think I need to either a) set up a backdrop, which will probably not happen often or b) learn to position myself better to create less shadows/bright spots.  I think I can do that and it will be my personal photographic goal.

So I struggled with the light in my kitchen because of the location of the wall, and the fact that our sliding glass doors have panes which create extra shadows, just what I need!  Until today it was too cold to try to keep it open and have Jax stay still; he would immediately start jabbering.  It's cold, Mama!  Why is the door open?  Bad for photos.  And Em is pretty much impossible to photograph unless she's in motion.  So always lunges toward me as soon as I get her to sit.  I was able to get a few shots of her on my bed but putting an interesting toy on my windowsill, but I was always scared she was going to catapult off my bed.

I like this one but I think it feels a little flat and one-dimensional. Maybe I'm just used to my crazy, overexposed, extra-dimensional photos that are not compositionally sound.

and then, she {snapped}

I love her face and smile in this one, and you can tell she's coming to get me.  She is such a happy little love.  The focus on this one isn't as sharp because she was moving closer and I was moving to make sure she didn't fall off the bed.  Plus she looks humungous, but I like the light in her eyes.

When I was going to kill myself that I had no good wall/lighting combos, JDubbs was kind enough to orchestrate a backdrop in Jax's bedroom this afternoon.  It faces west and gets the evening light, but there are a lot of trees so there can be great light one moment and complete shade the next.  I had to act fast and Jax wasn't really in the mood (are you digging his broken blood vessel in his eye?) but I think it came out pretty well all in all.

I already feel like I've learned so much in just this first week!  I am so thrilled that Faith gave me a little nudge and encouraged me to sign up.  Any tips I can glean from those whose photography I admire is worth the time and effort to me!

So I haven't submitted one yet for my final portrait using indoor lighting.  Which do you think I should choose?


Our Little Bubble said...

I'm going to check that out after our vacation next week. I really need some lessons! Got a very nice camera for xmas but still haven't taken the time to read all of the manual. I'm lazy! :)

Tiffany said...

They are adorable. I always use my sunroom or sons room for indoor lighting usually!

my3littlebirds said...

Interesting. I'd love to know more about how this online class works. Seems like you are learning a lot!

Kristen said...

I have the same problem with lighting.. i just try to get lucky most times lol

new follower!


Nessa said...

On my bed in my bedroom is the best too! I think I might move my bed so that the floor in in the sweet spot. I love the photos where Jax is looking up at you and Em is looking at the toy. But my very favorite is where she is coming to get you! said...

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Vanessa said...

Indoor lighting is tough..I can never wrap my head around it!
You have some great shots here..I love the 2nd last sweet!

Erika said...

Aaaaw, her little smiling face is the best shot <3 Your shots really captured the vibrancy so nicely!

Come Visit Us @ Cat Dead, Details Later

Dewi Citra said...

OMG, Jax and Em are so cute !!
Hard choices, but maybe I will choose Em's second photo. Love her chubby cheeks XD

Angela said...

Your pics are great! I really like the last 2. Thanks for following Mommy Time Out

Jess and the boys said...

Hi there! I'm your newest follower from Swingin' By Sunday! I hope you can swing by and follow me when you get the chance! :)

Chasing Rainbow said...

I'm no photographer, but when I do attempt lighting is always an issue. You've got some cuties there...look at those eyes.

I'm your newest follower from the Week-end hop.
Have a great week.

MariaS said...

Hi there! New follower from the Let's get social blog hop. Following you on FB too!
Have a great weekend!

LifeBelowZero said...

New Follower from the hop
Life Below Zero

Anonymous said...

Love these. I am really enjoying her class.

rachel said...

so I think it's important to understand what's "correct" in terms of lighting, but those correct ones aren't always my favorites. I think it's ok to be a little overexposed here and there. (and to be honest, when I took one of Faith's classes she ALWAYS said my stuff was I think that's just what I like!) thanks for linking up, btw.