Need your help - Taking New born baby pictures

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Pat, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Hi,

    We are expecting a baby very soon. I would greatly appreciate your
    suggestions / comments on the following:

    1) Color print film choice- will the portrait films like Fuji NPS give
    better results? Which film will give better results? I have not used
    NPS film before but have read that it gives better skit tones etc. Can
    you develop this film with the local photo lab - or you have to
    develop at the pro lab?

    2) Direct Flash: I understand that direct flash is not a great idea to
    take new born baby pics. Could you use the bouncing flash from the
    ceiling?

    3) If using flash is no no, then I guess my choice will be to use fast
    prime lens with faster film - may be 400 ISO for indoor pictures.
    (I'll definitely use window sun light when possible.)

    4) Is there any particular lens and focal length I should be
    considering? I had read about children photographers using Nikon prime
    50 mm lens and 180 mm lens for portraits.

    I'll greatly appreciate your ideas/comments/suggestions on the new
    born baby photography.

    Thank you very much.
    Pat
     
    Pat, Nov 29, 2003
    #1
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  2. All color negative films use the same process, so any lab can develop them.
    However, it's more worthwhile to spend money on a better lab than on pro
    film. Not necessarily a pro lab, but not the cheapest one in town either.
    Try a couple and see how they work.
    Yes. But I urge you to discover 800 speed film, f/1.8 lenses, and
    available-light photography. Don't use a zoom lens; use a lens with a low
    f-number (like f/1.8) to pick up a lot of light. Then you won't need flash.
    My first thoughts are 50 and about 80 or 90, but your results will vary.
    Remember, the baby isn't going to be newborn very long -- soon you'll be
    into sports photography, whether you want to be or not, simply in order to
    keep up with a 2-year-old!
     
    Michael A. Covington, Nov 30, 2003
    #2
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  3. Pat

    leicaddict Guest

    Put film at the back of your mind, and start thinking digital. Min
    would be 3MP, which are now fairly cheap. If you can afford it, go to
    4MP. Beyond that would probably be a waste of money. Photos can be
    downloaded to the web, and 4x6 prints delivered in the mail, in a
    couple of days, plus you'll be able to e-mail. Check out Nikon.net. A
    digatal camera will more than pay for itself within a year.
     
    leicaddict, Nov 30, 2003
    #3
  4. Use at least a few rolls of real B&W. It will probably be the only
    photos he(?) has to show his grand children, all the colour having
    fled decades since!

    --
    Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
    +61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
    West Australia 6076
    comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
    Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
    EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
     
    Paul Repacholi, Nov 30, 2003
    #4
  5. I agree. When photographing a baby, you want to be able to take hundreds of
    pictures and keep only the best.
     
    Michael A. Covington, Nov 30, 2003
    #5
  6. The best pictures I have taken of my sisters newborn have been outside
    in the evening shade or by a window with a telephoto zoom lens. It's
    hard to get a full frame shot of a newborn baby with a 50mm lens.

    Cody Houston,


    Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to
    destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have
    it more abundantly.
    ================================

    Sat, Nov 29, 2003, 3:37pm (CST-2) From: (Pat)

    Hi,

    We are expecting a baby very soon. I would greatly appreciate your
    suggestions / comments on the following:
    1) Color print film choice- will the portrait films like Fuji NPS give
    better results? Which film will give better results? I have not used NPS
    film before but have read that it gives better skit tones etc. Can you
    develop this film with the local photo lab - or you have to develop at
    the pro lab?
    2) Direct Flash: I understand that direct flash is not a great idea to
    take new born baby pics. Could you use the bouncing flash from the
    ceiling?
    3) If using flash is no no, then I guess my choice will be to use fast
    prime lens with faster film - may be 400 ISO for indoor pictures. (I'll
    definitely use window sun light when possible.)
    4) Is there any particular lens and focal length I should be
    considering? I had read about children photographers using Nikon prime
    50 mm lens and 180 mm lens for portraits.
    I'll greatly appreciate your ideas/comments/suggestions on the new born
    baby photography.

    Thank you very much.
    Pat

    http://community-2.webtv.net/AnOvercomer02/PhotographyLinks
     
    AnOvercomer02, Dec 1, 2003
    #6
  7. Don't overlook B&W. Shoot a roll of Tri-X, and you'll probably love the
    results. The stuff is cheap, too!
     
    Robert A. Barr, Dec 1, 2003
    #7
  8. Pat

    kpfeif Guest

    We had a baby 5 months ago. I shoot digital and film. Both have
    their place.

    The digital has been great for all-around shooting. The shutter lag
    is annoying, however, as is the recycle time. However, the digital
    camera has saved us quite a bit in processing costs. It's also nice
    to be able to post our images out on, say, Yahoo Photos, then direct
    relatives and friends to the Yahoo site to browse, and if they want,
    buy reprints.

    I get the SLR out for more formal portraits. I use almost all B&W in
    the SLR. The SLR makes taking good photos a bit easier for me - using
    off camera flash and a diffuser helps out a lot indoors. I took
    photos right after the delivery (no, nothing during the delivery,
    folks). I shot Tmax 3200 with my 50mm/1.8 lens using the funky,
    available light in the delivery room.

    For our Birth Announcements, I printed a B&W portrait on Ilford
    "Postcard" RC paper and sent a print inside a little card to our
    family and friends. People really liked that a lot.

    I shoot mostly Tmax 100 or Ilford HP5+ for other shots.
     
    kpfeif, Dec 2, 2003
    #8
  9. Pat

    Ed E. Guest

    I've taken pictures of a number of newborns and they always come out great -
    thanks to the subject!

    Here's some things to do:
    Shoot a professional grade film, such as Kodak Portra 160NC.
    Use a good lens, preferably a prime with true macro capability. My best one
    is a Sigma 105mm macro. Avoid cheap zoom lenses.
    Take the pictures in a room that is mostly lit by sunlight. I usually turn
    off the lights in the room to avoid the fluorescent cast. Find out which
    part of the day the sunlight is really good in the room (like morning for
    the east side of a hospital, afternoon for the west side, etc.)
    Use a tripod.
    Get pictures of the hands and feet.
    Get in close - really close. Fill the frame with the baby's face, hands or
    feet.
    Get pictures of each of the parents holding the baby close to their face,
    with the parent looking at their baby.
    For facial pictures, focus on the closest eye to the lens. If possible,
    shoot between f/8 and f/16.
    Take the prints to a good lab - even if they are cost prohibitive.
    Keep the negatives in a cool, dry place for future use. The lab will very
    likely sleeve them, but if not find some good archival sleeves to put the
    negatives in.
    Personally, I prefer to take pictures while the baby is sleeping. If
    they're awake, they're usually moving which makes for some subtle to
    moderate blurring. It all depends on the baby's mood, obviously.

    Here's things NOT to do:
    Don't use Flash. The baby's eyes are VERY sensitive to light, even through
    their eyelids. Plus the flash washes away a lot of the subtle colors and
    detail of the newborn's skin.
    Be careful not to have the baby's blanket causing a shadow on the face, or
    blocking part of the face.
     
    Ed E., Dec 2, 2003
    #9
  10. Pat

    Paul W. Ross Guest

    Well, the last time I did this was 40 years ago with one of my own
    children. Flashbulbs were a no-no. I borrowed the lab's Poloroid
    camera and put a roll of ASA 3000 film in it. Great results. No flash,
    no fuss, instant results. Just available light in the hospital. I bet
    you could do the same with the ASA 800 stuff, and maybe push it a
    little. If you are dealing with florescent light, you would likely
    need one of those magenta filters to kill the green tinge.
     
    Paul W. Ross, Dec 2, 2003
    #10
  11. For the most part, replies have not broached the subject of causing permeant
    eye damage to babies by using flash... ANY FLASH. The babies iris is
    undeveloped in newborns, it cannot respond to rapid rise in light values,
    even when the eyelid is closed. How many people taking pictures of their
    babies have caused permeant damage is not known but I suspect when studies
    are eventually done, the figures will shock many 'caring' parents.

    Whatever you do, do it without a flash. If you must light up a room the baby
    is in, do it in stages, not with a flash or strobe light.
    MR
     
    Milo Rambaldi, Dec 3, 2003
    #11
  12. Pat

    Pat Guest

    Hi guys,

    I want to thank you very much for your comments and suggestions. It's
    wonderful to be part of this wonderful group.

    I have been shooting with my film SLR camera and the digital camera.
    There was good light in the hospital room (large window light) - and
    also in the delivery room (fluorescent light) Did not use the flash.
    The family is very happy with the pictures.

    Thanks again for your help folks. You are the best.

    Regards,
    Pat
     
    Pat, Dec 10, 2003
    #12
  13. Pat

    Mxsmanic Guest

    FWIW, flash is harmless to newborns. Of course, it can be just as
    unflattering to newborns as it is to everyone else, but it's not a
    hazard.
     
    Mxsmanic, Dec 10, 2003
    #13
  14. I would have guessed this simply from the fact that there are millions of
    flash pictures being taken every year of newborn babies, and I have never
    heard of any warnings about it before, nor are there any such warnings on
    new flash units.....Even the ones sold in California!
     
    William Graham, Dec 10, 2003
    #14
  15. Pat

    Mxsmanic Guest

    There's a persistent urban legend to the effect that the flash from a
    camera will damage a baby's eyes. There is no truth to it.
     
    Mxsmanic, Dec 10, 2003
    #15
  16. Pat

    Ed E. Guest

    There's a persistent urban legend to the effect that the flash from a
    Until you take a picture using flash and see this little baby flinch like
    you just smacked it in the face. Unless you have a callous demeanor, you
    stop using flash. They're people too, so show some compassion.
     
    Ed E., Dec 10, 2003
    #16
  17. Pat

    Leicaddict Guest

    So you say, but there is this persistant story about these babies in Boston,
    or was it London, and what flash did to them. I wouldn't wish that on any
    parent!
     
    Leicaddict, Dec 10, 2003
    #17
  18. Pat

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Just because they flinch doesn't mean that it hurts them. Some
    grown-ups do that, too.
     
    Mxsmanic, Dec 10, 2003
    #18
  19. Pat

    Deathwalker Guest

    actually there is a story of someone asking why the baby was the only one
    who didn't get red eye. An examination later resulted in the babies
    catarracts being dealt with.
     
    Deathwalker, Dec 13, 2003
    #19
  20. Pat

    Mxsmanic Guest

    The cataracts were not caused by the flash, though. Some babies are
    born with cataracts or develop them very rapidly after birth.
     
    Mxsmanic, Dec 13, 2003
    #20
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