Wednesday, February 03, 2010





I think that sickness is about to take over the girls. No, no, no! Lucy went to school today, but she came home with watery eyes, constant sneezing and a runny nose. She clearly doesn't feel well. It really resembles allergies, so I am praying that maybe it will be cleared up a tad tomorrow. Justin's allergies have been making him crazy, so maybe???? Lee Lee and Papa are coming on Friday, so I really don't want sick babies.

I made turkey chili tonight and it was really yummy. Justin especially loved it and it was really healthy. It had lots of veggies in it. And, it will feed us tomorrow. Justin loved it so much he said I didn't need to cook tomorrow night because he wanted it again. I have to say, it has been really easy to eat so well since my reformation. Way easier than I would have guessed and I am having so much fun searching for recipes and cooking. I will admit that switching over has been really expensive. But in a few weeks when I have switched most of my foods out for healthier choices, I don't think it will be that much more expensive. But I have replaced most of the stuff in our fridge and pantry, so that is going to be expensive.

I had a few questions about the light in the pictures from my session yesterday, so I thought I would share a little of what I have learned about light to those of you that care to learn something about photography today. All of the pictures from yesterday's session where taken in natural light. No external flash and I used my 24-70mm 2.8 lens. I will say that I would normally use a prime lens for an indoor session where I can get the aperture set to 1.8. But I used the 24-70 because it focuses SO quickly and I knew that I really couldn't go any lower than 2.8 with a group of children. Otherwise the depth of field would have been too shallow and the focus would have been off for at least one of the kids.

The room that we were in had 2 very large south facing windows. Most photographers will tell you that they prefer northern facing windows, but I have learned from my own home that I always prefer light coming from a southern facing window. It just has a warm, even quality about it that I love more than any other light. I will also say that I prefer indoor light over outside light a whole lot of the time. But it is not always easy to make it work indoors. However, when it does work, it is my favorite. Always.

My clients home had incredible light. The windows were really big and they had big wooden shutters, so I could manipulate how it was coming in the room. They were tilting upward to prevent any bright spots of sun coming in the room. It was a sunny day, which was very important, too. The room we were shooting in was very lightly colored. The walls were a light neutral color and there was lots of white in the room. All of the baby bedding was white and the comforter on the bed was white. All of this is good, good, good. Let's all say I was very pleased when I saw this room and even more pleased when the sun agreed to come out because this was the only time in a week that we have seen it.

Even with the great light, I still had my ISO set to 400 because I needed the fast shutter speed with my moving targets. I didn't want a shutter speed lower than 1/250. The great thing about my camera is that it can handle a high ISO very well. The second photo above of Annie has an ISO of 1250, which is really high, but the noise is still really low in the image. If I was just doing the newborn yesterday, I would have used my 50mm or 85mm lens with an aperture of 1.8 and the ISO could have stayed much lower. But an ISO of 400 for my camera is no big deal. However, when I had a D200, an ISO of 400 was so grainy and yucky.

If you want to see the entire sneak peek of this session, go to my NEW photography blog. It is a work in progress. I worked on it for several days, then got sidetracked, and haven't worked on it much more. But bookmark it because this is where all sneak peeks will be from now on.

So, my advice is to find a big southern facing window, get your subject as close to it as you can, and snap away. I bet you will like the results. Here are the camera settings for a few of the images. I always think this is helpful to see when another photographer posts it, so I thought I would share this today. Is this kind of info helpful to those of you that care about photography? Or what would you prefer to hear about?

Light: Kids are facing the windows and I moved the chair closer to the window.
ISO: 400
Aperture: 2.8
Focal Length: 38mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250

Light: This room had large northern facing windows directly to the right of the kids, but it was a darker room than the baby's room, so my ISO had to increase.
ISO: 640
Aperture: 2.8
Focal Length: 55mm
Shutter Speed: 1/200 - a slower shutter speed was fine here because the kids were going to be blurry and the feel of movement was what I was going for

Light: Southern facing windows directly to the right of the kids. See how even and beautiful it is!
ISO: 400
Aperture: 2.8
Focal Length: 70mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250

This is also the light of a southern facing window in the late afternoon. It was coming through a set of french doors, so floor to the top of the door light coming in.
ISO: 400
Aperture: 1.8
Focal Length: 85mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250


Mom said...

First???? Lee

Mom said...

The family you photographed yesterday is absolutely beautiful. But then, your family is beautiful, too! I certainly hope that sickness is not coming, but that happens. Sorry the Goose doesn't feel well.

Razorbacks actually won another road trip. Woohoo! Now I'm watching my Jayhawks. Not much on tv that interests me.

Oh yow, too much photography talk. I only point and shoot with my camera, when I think to get it out!

Tennis and Aldersgate tomorrow. House got the cleaning done today. Hooray. Mamie and Holly Dolly were going out to supper and a movie. They didn't have school again today because public schools started two hours late--so no preschool. Guess Hol was feeling a little cabin fever!

Love and kisses to you all, LeeLee

Mom said...

Just looked at the new blog. Wonderful job! I really like it a lot. Lee

Kristi said...

I love the photography talk. And it's funny because doing this 365 Day Project has been a stretch for me because it's the dead of Winter in Chicago and days with sunlight are few and far between. I've had to work a little harder to find light, which is good for me. :) I love the light in my bedroom in the morning when the sun is out and it streams through a south-facing window. I'd never thought about the direction of the window but just figured out that I like the light. It was funny to hear you talk about the direction and realize that I total agree.

And those photos are great of the family with three kids. I'm sure the mom is ecstatic.

ATL said...

THANKS SO MUCH for the photography stats and examples!!! I am learning to master a film SLR and it's difficult to know what kind of settings get certain pictures.

your Annie looks so solemn sometimes it makes me smile.

Kate said...

very helpful! thanks so much - keep the photography insights coming whenever you have the time or feel so inclined. thanks again!

Mom2J&I said...

thanks Kelly. that was really helpful. how about a little lesson once a week???? :)
i am in awe of the little beauty Miss Annie is turning to. Wow!

Anonymous said...

These are all so gorgeous - you are so talented and your models so beautiful. Thanks for the info on your natural light set-ups. Could you please do a similar post on your non-natural light photos? Thank you!! Kathy

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the photography tips kelly, they're very helpful!

Love Letters To China said...

Thank you so much for sharing your photography tips. I'm seriously thinking about going to the Amy Wenzel Photography Workshop you mentioned last week. I'm a beginner but she said it would still be very beneficial to me to attend. Love your photos... they inspire me each day to get out there any practice.

Sharon said...

When you edit the photos, are you finding you need to adjust the exposure or are you leaving them as is? My camera's ISO is terrible, but next month is my big upgrade. Can't wait.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the lighting tips! Very helpful!

LeighAnn said...

Thank you so much for the helpful photog. tips. You do a great job explaining in simple terms that we can all understand. I would totally love weekly lessons from you like another poster commented!! I know you are one busy woman though. Oh, and yay for you for being so on the ball with changing your eating habits, reading your bible so consistently and changes in your biz. You are an inspiration!!!!

Ronja said...

That was really helpful, and I hope you will do posts like this as often as you can, too! Thank you! And I wouldn't have believed it last year, because I have always loved your pictures, but you are getting even better still! Those pictures and the new blog are both awesome, and you really are gifted. Thank you for helping us with some info! I would really like to know how you edit your pictures, especially what kind of software (Lightroom?) and hardware (PC or Mac?) you use, if you wouldn't mind to share!

Candace said...

Love the lighting tips...thanks for sharing them! I had just read something a few days ago about how most photographers prefer northern light and I was not agreeing with that. So glad to hear someone else has a different opinion as well. Unfortunately I have very few south facing windows in my house. I do have a question as well...are you still shooting in RAW exclusively or only for client shoots?

Glad to hear the food changes are going's not easy, but totally worth it!

Love the new website and the pictures are beautiful as always!

Anonymous said...

You explain photography nicely and seeing the settings along with the photo is really helpful. I love the Annie and Lucy stories but I say keep the photo talk coming too!!

Nicki said...

Thanks soooo much for taking the time to share about lighting and settings. You know I am obsessed with trying to figure this stuff out. I feel like this was a major lightbulb post for me! It answered a lot of my nagging frustrations.

One question - do you keep your ISO on auto? Or do you literally adjust it along with your shutter speed and aperture for each photo? I assume you must set it on auto with maybe an upper limit max? I have never ever used anything but 200 ISO because of my PTSD from the cruddy D40. Now I realize that was a huge mistake. Why get a camera with better noise handling if I'm not going to use it, right?

Lane Olson said...

thanks for the tips! these photos are really, really, incredible. and so are the kids.

kate's corner said...

thanks so much kelly! seriously all that you said was soo helpful and i love knowing the settings of each picture. i need to pay more attention to where light is coming from and actively seeking it out. i love love that one of the two kids jumping with slower shutter speed so it's blurred. perfect. thanks so much again for taking the time to help us out! -anne (one of lulu's emily's good friends in case you're wondering :))

Heather said...

YES---so helpful to have comments like that and explanations! Wonderful! And those photos are georgeous. Why do you prefer the indoor natural light instead of outdoor?? Ooh, and I agree, a weekly lesson? Even posted on your Photog Blog....

Erica said...

Do you ever use any noise lowering actions for your photos with a high ISO? My camera handles a high ISO and I usually don't mind some grain, but I know some photographers are horrified by any noise.

I'm looking forward to the 24-70 lens. I'm really excited that it is tax season again and I still have some adoption money coming to me! At home I use my 50/1.4 primarily and I am seriously itchin' for a new lens!

Thanks for the info. Always nice to hear what other photographers are using.

Emily said...

congrats on the new blog. exciting!
i have been meaning to pull the trigger on a pro photo blog for awhile now. not sure what is stopping me. the work maybe?! ha.
arent you allowed two sites per template? i was thinking i could use one for my personal blog and the other for work. but maybe i am wrong about that..

Melissa said...

I love the photography tips! I have a Nikon D90 and have just started shooting in manual so all these tips are very helpful. My two children are both adopted from Korea so I'm very inspired by the photos of your girls and how your white balance and skin tone especially is always so consistent and great!

M3 said...

Awesome info, thanks for sharing -- I know this stuff takes so much time to write up.