Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Make Eleven Months Look Easy

Sometime around 5:00 this morning, I woke up feeling so rotten that I was sure I had been stricken with Abby's latest ailment. After about ten minutes of hanging out on the bathroom floor, however, (which, thankfully, is actually one of the warmest places in the house- go figure) with nothing to show for it, I found the courage to attempt some Maalox and headed back to bed.

Though I was pretty uncomfortable for quite some time, the moment eventually passed, and when I finally rolled out of bed at 10:00 or so (thank you Tom, for taking over breakfast and letting me sleep in), my stomach was just fine. I, however, felt like I'd been hit by a truck, for some reason, and at Tom's encouragement, went straight back to bed for a couple of hours more.

By lunchtime, I felt that there was reason to hope again. I seem to be doing okay, and so does Michael. No signs of impending doom. (Though I still find myself jumping at every cough, burp, and hiccup that I hear coming out of my children's mouths.)

And so it was that I finally got myself together to set up Michael's photo shoot after Abby had been safely tucked in her crib for a nap.

I almost always have the same reaction to even the best of my pictures. There never seems to be enough light. Granted, there isn't much natural light to come by, even in the afternoon, during this time of year, so opening up the curtains only helped so much. I turned on a floor lamp for added illumination, but opted out of utilizing the ceiling fan fixture. The light from the overhead bulbs always seems awfully harsh to me.

As a result, I had to brighten nearly every picture in editing. I could only brighten so much, however, before the brightest spots got too bright. And the added downside of doing so was that the more I brightened, the more obvious the graininess (from the relatively high ISO I had to set- 800, if you're curious) became apparent. It didn't even occur to me to adjust the shutter speed- I'm still not in the habit of getting my settings lined up before I start- but I couldn't really have gone much lower than 160 anyway, without ending up with quite a few out-of-focus pictures instead. I just can't seem to find a good balance for capturing my kids. I keep telling myself, a bona fide photography class is in my future. Or at the very least, the development of enough self-discipline to do some reading and research on my own. Someday...

So here they are- my favorite of Michael's eleven-month pics- edited and cropped to the best of my ability.

I started off as I usually do, trying to capture him somewhat posed, against a (terribly wrinkled, I know) backdrop.

I knew from the start that it wouldn't last long; Michael gets less and less inclined to stay put the older he gets.

The extent to which I was able to prolong it was entirely due to Tom's presence in the beginning, and his assistance with distraction and retrieval.

Tom couldn't hang around for long, however, and I eventually gave up on the whole setup, just letting Michael do his own thing.

The candids were actually the ones I was most pleased with, in the end.

Now that the sheet is (mostly) out of the background, I can see that it was really more of a distraction than a help. I'll have to remember that unless I can find an unwrinkled sheet to use, it might be better to go without, in the future.

Clearly, all he wants for Christmas is a remote control...

Sorry, Bud, that's not quite what I got you. But I think you'll have a fantastic first Christmas, all the same.

So long as you stay healthy, that is.

Hear that, Santa? That's all this tired Mama wants this year.