Archive: ‘Siblings’



Baby Sophia Finally Meets Her Big Brothers!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

She is here safe and sound and as precious as we all imagined!

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Sophia had a big ‘welcome to the family’ by her three big brothers!

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Not too much writing today – – just a few tips to let you know that I used my 50mm lens and the wonderful window light that the hospital provided! No more dark dingy rooms from years gone by – – we had wonderful light for a wonderful birthday! party

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Someone looks a little worried!

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Just can’t get enough of this precious little girl!

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One thing is for sure – — she will be loved to pieces by all those brothers and everyone else of course!

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Best wishes to Sara and Mitch as they bring little Sophia home….I’m sure you will be seeing more of Sophia as I have the honor of capturing her babyhood! Can’t wait!

No flash and virtually no editing thanks to the beautiful window light. General camera settings 50 mm lens; ISO 250, F Stop 2.0, ss 1/160

Checkers Anyone?

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Dinner is on the stove, the aromas are filling the house,  little stomachs are hungry and mom announces that there will be no more snacks before dinner! A distraction is needed and quick…. then a little voice saves the day and says “who wants to play checkers?”

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They scramble to the table….

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… to figure out how to beat their big sister who knows ‘everything about everything’ according to the little guys who are half her age.

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Hunger pain pre-dinner-meltdown disaster is averted.

As I grab the dishes to set the table;  I  quietly grab my camera.   Most of my photo ops are totally unplanned.

But I have to be quick.

And sometime I miss the shot.

But I always miss it if I don’t try.

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These everyday not-fighting-actually-getting-along-sibling moments warm my heart…..because they are so rare!  I’m so glad I have them tucked away.

Grab them while you can your kids will grow up and be gone before you know it and you will need your photos to remind you of the sweet times : )

Tip: camera was set at 1/125, 2.8, ISO 1250. but other settings would have worked. My camera has a high  ISO setting which makes it easier to take shots indoors. The low f stop number give it the blurry background and it is fun to play with that. Remember that you need to keep the shutter speed over 100 if they are still and over 200 if they are moving to keep your photos sharp.

Your ISO Is Your Friend At Christmas

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Learn how to make your ISO work for you this ‘low light’ holiday season… these indoor shots would be harder with a low ISO. Even though it is a tad bit grainy, it is not a bad trade off.  Remember to practice and get your settings figured out before the ‘moment’ happens… The fast shutter speed was made possible by the high ISO which allowed these ‘low light’ shots to be in focus.

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both pictures ss 1/200, F stop 2.8, ISO 3200

If your ISO only goes to 1600 or your F stop doesn’t go to 2.8: get the ISO as high as you can and the f stop as low as you can and play with the shutter speed.  Try to get it in focus. It is OK if it is a tad dark, you can lighten it up a bit post editing. but you can’t get the focus post edit.  Don’t forget that you can shoot Christmas lights during the day too so the overall light will be better.

Also, the best ‘bang-for-your-buck- great-for-a- mom lens is  the 50mm fixed 1.4 or 1.8.  Put it on your list for Santa, you will be able to get wonderful shots of your kids! It is a very inexpensive way to get hold of that wonderful low f stop setting!

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Finding Black and White ‘Gifts’ From From Color Photos.

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Christmas colors are wonderful but there is something to be said for the nostalgic look of the black and white print.

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This is a Christmas photo of me and my siblings not too many years ago (ha). I love the look and feel of this print. It was a gift to me from my mom and is the only one we have like it.  I love the fact that my brother looks like he is trying to escape and my sister looks so proud in her new dress, but what is up with those bangs we have?! Don’t you agree that this print would take on a whole different look if it were in color?

When the twins went to see Santa, I was in a hurry and wasn’t thinking about this photo above. The color photos I took last weekend were alright but not thrilling. A few days later I looked at them again and decided to change them to b&w …..and I love them now! They tell such a different story to me.

This is the before in color:

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it is OK but the toys in the background and all the red color is a bit distracting;  it tells a story of the toy store and the activity of going to see Santa.

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This is the b&w and all of a sudden I really see the emotion or the magic emerge from this photo. I can just hear Andrew describe his Star Wars ship and Evan the Toy Story toy he wants; their hands are telling the story! I didn’t notice their hands as much the first time I looked at the color photo.  The B&W tells a different story. It seems more simple and warm and, even though they are the same photo, I really like this one better.

There are 2 things to do when you convert to b&w or sepia:

1.  Usually you will want to crop in a bit and get closer

2. You will always want to brighten it up (increasing the mid-tones) and possibly make it a bit warmer on your temperature setting. If  you do a straight conversion it will almost always be too dark.

Go ‘unwrap’ some black and white photo gifts! You already have them! All you have to do is go to your color photos and start looking for the treasures! They are there and you will be thrilled to find them, you may even want to frame a few to put around the house.  (Be sure and share them with us too!)

Happy treasure hunting!

Melanie

The Halloween Walk

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
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Off they go! These are my 4 year old twins, Andrew and Evan off for a trick or treat outing with their Dad. I usually get in close with my camera but am so glad I got out of my box and shot this from a distance.  When possible get shots that show how little your children are. Sometime we can get so focused on the close-ups that we forget to do the big picture stuff. This is how I remember this time of their life, their size, the fact that they would follow their Dad anywhere, the fact that they love to dress up…it says it all!

A sandy beach, full sun and the fam…all make for a happy Camera Mom!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
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1/2500 F3.2 ISO 100

Some would say to leave your camera at home because it is near impossible to get good shots in bright sunlight and the sand isn’t worth it. I agree with that to some degree. But, if you find a way to get that big ball of fire to work with your little balls of fire it is a win/win for the camera mom!

The sun was bright no question, so I put it behind Evan’s head keeping it out of his eyes, keeping him from squinting (the ultimate goal). His head made the shade for his eyes…a good trick to try. Usually you want to have some light on the face but all photography rules are meant to be broken (just ask my good friend and Professional Family Photo Man, Nick Kelsh!). The sun is already so bright that he has enough light on his face even in the ‘shade’ that the camera angle is creating.
I just love this next shot showing the relationship between Evan and his big sister….may not speak to others but to me, the mom, it is just so sweet. (notice her ‘gymnast arms’?)
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1/2500 F3 ISO 100

This shot is all about the angle of the sun again and using it to my advantage. I love the curve of his back and the light behind him. Again, it is bright enough on the beach to compensate for light issues, if this were shot in another open field for example, his body may be too dark.

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1/200 F7 ISO 200
This is just cool!
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The final two shots are all about taking advantage of the warm light during this beautiful magical time of day. The sun is beautiful right before sunset and if you had your camera in the bag all day, it is time to pull it out because you will only have about 15 quick minutes to get what you are after. Have fun with this beautiful bath of warm, golden light, it makes everyone look cozy and happy!

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1/200, F 7, ISO 200

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1/200 F7 ISO 200
very little if any post editing on all above
Cannon 50D

New York Time crossword puzzle in Central Park

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
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My friend Sharon just sent me this. What a great Shot Sharon! This story has such a huge ‘Storytelling Quality’ (SQ) I can hardly stand it! Plus, your teen has those same things growing out of his ears that my son has…we need to talk!
What I love about this photo is the relationships represented here. Your sons and their Dad sharing a maybe ‘rare’ moment in time. I love the bench, the book bag, the t shirts and the flip flops and the casual nature of this photo. It looks like your kids were talking or reading and doing their own thing but then something caught their attention in the crossword puzzle. They went from their own separate world – – clue: head phones… which many kids live in these days – – to a shared world with your husband….a more serious ‘mature’ world (I’m taking in the dress shoes, the white button down shirt and the beard) This photo shows the contrast of the two worlds coming together. This photo has so much emotion to me and I am not even the mother; I know you must love it! It says so much more than you could ever really even write down…I give it a 10 on the SQ scale! You nailed it!

Big Brother Comes home for a Weekend Visit

Saturday, November 6th, 2010
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Adam is off at college so it makes for an exciting weekend when he comes to visit. The twins love their big brother and think that he can do anything including winning all the Wii games and fixing their toys.

But these shots are hard to get….the only thing harder than getting two boys to sit still is getting three to sit still! So mostly they were not still, I just had to shoot quick 🙂

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I found that the bench on our driveway is just far enough under the tree to keep them in the shade but the light is still plenty to give those little white lights in their eyes that you want to look for…enough light on their faces without the squinting, the ‘raccoon eye’ shadows and the bad moods!  Tip: go find a ‘sweet spot’ outside your house right now that you can use as your go-to place for getting quick photos of your kids any time of day. If I had to hunt for and evaluate the ‘perfect spot’ while they were waiting, I would have lost my subjects and … the shot!
 

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