Saturday, January 19, 2013

Totally Rockin' at Twelve Months

Michael's twelve-month picture "session" was an exercise in laziness on my part, though I at least got it done on his actual birthday. Not that it did me much good when it came time to write his birthday post- I started it so late last night that even without taking time to edit all of the ones I wanted to use (I just chose one to include), I still couldn't get it published before midnight. Thankfully, my Blogger account seems to think that I operate on Pacific time, even though I've told it otherwise.

An actual sleeping schedule being now nonexistent for me (I'm lucky if I sleep at night at all nowadays), I was (say it with me, because I know how sadly predictable I've become by now) incredibly tired yesterday, and in no mood to try and set up a backdrop, so I didn't. I scrounged around for Tigger, but realized that Pooh was upstairs napping with Abby at the time I chose to make my attempt, so I didn't include him this time around. Between already feeling uninspired by my lack of preparation, and still pouting a bit over the fact that I no longer have a working Speedlight, I elected to put the camera on auto, and let the settings fall where they may.

The results were a little surprising. I knew that I wasn't going to be happy with the lighting due to my use of the pop-up flash, but I didn't realize I'd actually have to decrease the brightness on almost every picture I took when it came time to edit. Despite the dark background, Michael looked pretty washed out, and his white shirt practically glowed in each one. I also expected to have uninteresting or unnatural colors (again, due to the in-camera flash) but with the positive trade-off of a crisp, clear subject. This was not so in many of the action shots. Somehow, Michael ended up blurred around the edges in several pictures.

Of course, Michael did present more of a challenge this time around than ever before, and I quickly remembered during the course of my attempt why I hadn't even tried to do a twelve-month photo shoot with Abby. By this age, they've definitely graduated beyond certain boundaries of mobility that automatically allow for the level of cooperation required for such a feat. In the back of my mind, I sort of knew that I was trying to achieve the impossible, but I went for it anyway because I had one last sticker- the 12- to use. I begged Tom to give me ten minutes of his time to help me out, but the best that he could really do was spot Michael as he attempted to lunge off the front and sides of the couch, and provide some amount of amusement to distract Michael from the fact that he was temporarily confined.

Despite it all, I have a special place in my heart for this set of pictures. They're far from my best, and they don't look remotely polished, but they tell a great story. Best of all, they're a pretty accurate representation of the mobility and exuberance that Michael has in spades at this particular stage of his life.

So, here they are: the twelve-month pictures.

Yet another example of my laziness: I didn't even change Michael into clean pants. As you can see when he stands up, there's some banana residue from that morning's breakfast on his bum.

At first, I thought the (lack of) sharpness issue had to do with the fact that the camera's auto setting perhaps used an insufficiently fast shutter speed for my purposes. However, looking at this picture made me realize that there was probably more to it. Generally, the camera's focus defaults to center, and the center is not where Michael was in this picture, thanks to my shoddy framing. I didn't bother to crop it to correct that because, well, the focus doesn't lie.

I got back on track for these, though.

Michael, however, was more than ready to be done with the whole thing by this time.

Finally, I took pity on him and let him down off of the sofa, but couldn't resist snapping just a couple more.

Little Brother, indeed. Little do you realize, you're going to be a big brother soon, too.