Light is Everything!

Posts tagged “Birthday



Mine baby is 8 years old today! That’s insane & unbelievable. It seems like just yesterday we were going to the hospital to have her. She’s the sweetest, most caring and compassionate person I have ever met. And she’s ridiculously cute!

I busted out the ol’ photo mill (Nikon Df, 50mm & 85mm 1.8G) for some birthday pics. We used 1 light (Nikon SB-900 flash triggered by a SU-800 commander) with 3 different modifiers used in 4 different ways.

The first setup was the good old shoot through umbrella. It produces winning light all the time. It’s soft. It’s directional. It’s fool proof, quick goto lighting. It’s also pretty boring. Good thing Phoebe is cute. I said that already though. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Next, was a small soft box. The LumiQuest Softbox III to be specific. It introduces more shadow tonality. A bit more depth and interest to the shots. It’s pretty cool light, especially when used in close to the subject.

Then it was a Honl grid. Deep shadows. Much more intrigue and edginess, almost teenaged light. But she’s only 8 so we had to back it off and bring the shadows up a notch.

So viola! We went back to the umbrella but this time I bounced the light off the white ceiling and back down through the umbrella that she was holding as a prop. It gives a double defused ultra soft giant look to the light. Shadows are very, very soft and silky smooth.


Princess Party!

Moir Dr. is a perpetual princess party! We’ve got more royals around here than Buckingham palace! ๐Ÿ™‚ Check out the shots of from Kennedy’s Birthday. They all came fresh from Salon Diosa, all gussied up and princessified. ๐Ÿ˜Ž


30/60 Party!

This past weekend was the big rip roarin’ shin dig in Moose Jaw. My Dad turned 60 big ones whilst my youthful wife slid into the big Three-O (30 in layman’s terms). 8) Anyways, it was super fun! We had cakes and drinks and food and merriment all round. And now, Dad can get a senior’s discount. Maybe he’ll take us out for breakfast at Smitty’s. heehheehe… ๐Ÿ˜†

CLICK HERE to see the whole Gallery on Flickr.


Photo Geek Commentary: I was shooting my 50 f/1.4 for the majority of the shots. I tried my 105mm at 2.8 too, but I needed as much light as I could get so I went back to the 1.4. I did a combo of available light stuff for some of the candids, as well as placing an SB-900 strategically around the deck and triggering it with my SU-800. It made for some more interesting shots. It was all the realm of high ISO for the available light stuff, 1250-1600 for many of them. It produces grainy looking shots, but let’s face it, we’re not gonna blow these things up. They’re candids of moments so the picture quality trumps pixel quality. One other thing of note I did for the portrait of my Dad and his pal Al, was to match the light colour output of the tiki torch. I used a 1/4CTO gel and an umbrella to diffuse the light and make it look like the torch was lighting the whole shot. The tell tale sign of the umbrella flare showing up in Al’s glasses gives it away (and I was too lazy to clone out the glare). 8)

Ethan’s 1st Birthday!

I can’t believe our little dude turned 1 yesterday! Crazy stuff! He really enjoyed gobbling down 8 thousand cupcakes! Here’s the carnage first hand:

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Light is Everything

I am always fascinated at the difference good lighting makes to an image. Literally, light is everything in photography. My little girl turned 3 and we had a toddler party with lots of fun had ย by all. We were in our church hall because it’s winter and it lets the kids rip and tear in a bigger environment. However, to take pictures, you almost have to make pictures! By that I mean, the lighting sucks in church fellowship halls! No windows. Tall walls with old florescent lighting. Flat. Boring. Predictable. I did try to take some natural light shots, and they worked out OK. I had to crank my ISO to get them, which resulted in noisy images. But Nik’s Dfine 2.0 software comes to the rescue yet again.

There are two images I want to contrast in this blog entry to show that light is everything.


Cute! But Flat & Boring

In this first image, I used my on camera flash to light up the scene. It result is, we can see everyone. The light is flat and boring. It gives the over all feel of the shot an amateurish, point and shoot, grandma photo. The shadows are harsh and the lighting is uninspiring.

Cute AND Dramatic & Exciting!

Now in this shot, something exciting is happening! Not only is Phoebe 3, but she’s playing pin the tail on the donkey AND she is well lit. Beside me to my left is a huge white cupboard made of melamine. The material is flat and quasi-glossy. By pointing the head of my flash into the cupboard, I made my small speed light into a huge room light! It creates a nice even cast of light with soft shadows and lots of really appealing fall off. The over all image is more appealing and it draws the viewer into the experience of the photo. By looking for ways to do creative lighting in junk conditions, you can make photos instead of just taking them. ย As a point of interest, this photo wasn’t edited in software for the lighting – it’s just the bounce flash creating the loveliness (and of course my daughter who is 3 years of lovely). ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a slideshow of the pics from the event that I took. In here are examples of amateurish crappy lighting and some better examples of more interesting lighting. The world is a very fun place when you are three!

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