Sunday, June 8, 2008


Weeks ago, my mom and I made plans for her to visit us with my nephew Isaiah. Sam has been excited for weeks and apparently, Isaiah was so excited that he started packing three weeks ago and made a calendar for his bedroom and the refrigerator to count down the day till he left for Sam's house.

We all had a blast and once again, I was left wishing that my mom lived closer. She really is the best. I think that if she lived closer, I'd be a lot more sane. Not because she would help me, although I know she would, but because she is the kind of person that doesn't let anything bother her. She doesn't get upset. She doesn't yell. She doesn't stress. She just always trusts that everything will be okay. If she rubbed off on me just a little, life here at Casa Twinkle would be much better.

On Friday, we took the boys and Grace into Boston on the train. Excited doesn't even begin to describe the way the boys were feeling.

Then we went to the aquarium, which is a lot more expensive than the train and apparently much less exciting to four year oldish boys.

Once they saw the sharks
they were ready to head outside.

This was just the beginning of our adventures. I have some really fun pictures of our next stop. I just don't have the energy to upload them at the moment.
Question for all my professional photographer friends, Bethany, Mindi, Tabitha, Michelle and anyone else who may know. It was really hard to take pictures inside the aquarium without flash . I tried a bunch of different ways to get a decent shot of everyone looking into the large tank. The one I posted is the best. I bumped my ISO up to 1000 so that I could keep my SS at 100 and shot wide open at 1.4. It was really noisy though...I ran a noise filter on it(I had no idea what I was doing) and it helped a little. Could I have done something with my settings to make it better?


Kelsey S said...

Oh my gosh so cute! Looks like a blast! I think the photos turned out great, I have never even attempted to take photos in an aquarium.


Sara Mincy said...

Great, great pictures!!!!!

Michelle said...

Cute. Cute. Cute. Love the pics of the cutsie boys in the awesome yellow rain slickers. Classic.

Re: the inside shots. They look great. It's hard to get crisp (not blurry) shots with the shutter open for so long. And with your settings they way they were (all exactly what I would have done too) just means you get grain. But grain doesn't have to be bad. You can go with it and make it look artsy. Some people even add grain to clear shots. Or, sometimes if the shot is good but the color horrible, I just turn it into a black and white shot. It helps gobs.

But really you should wait for Bethany to post. She'll have something amazingly wise to say that will have us all continuing to bow at her photography prowess.

Bethany said...

Hmmmm. It does look pretty grainy. I pulled up my pics from the Aquarium and I shot mostly 1600 ISO F1.7 to F4 and 1/60-1/125. I thought that your camera should handle the high ISO pretty well. But maybe next time try to lower the ISO to maybe 800 and shoot slower speed....try down to 1/60. Or try shooting at an F-stop not as wide. I think on most of my shots with the kids looking at the fish I shot at F4 that way both the kids and the fish would be semi in focus (some the fish are a little on the soft side). When you are only shooting fish you could go for the 1.7. It is really a balance act. Fish move so you can't go too slow...jelly fish are a little slower so you might be able too. A lot of times too it pays to hand focus because in the dark light focusing on auto can get tripped up. When I look at the pic you mentioned specifically it looks like the focus is off and like it is underexposed which can cause for more grain in an image. When I shoot in weird conditions I change things up a lot and watch my histograms. If things are not coming out I will under or over expose. You know it is all a learning process. You will learn how slow you can hand hold, what speeds you can safely catch a moving object hand holding. What ISO works best what what f stop. Just keep shooting and paying attention to what you did. Helps learning on digi....with film you had to write all that down digi you can just right click. BW does hide a multitude of sins like Michelle said. When I really want a shot I don't rely on my camera meter I use a handheld (always for work). But understand how your meter works too that there will be times that it is going to give you a false reading based on your subject. Shooting into the sun for example your subject would be all dark if you didn't compensate your exposure for their face (standing where they are with your camera pointing back to where you are going to shoot from look at your meter reading then manually adjust to that and move back to shoot). And aquarium is tricky too in that you have to decide am I exposing for the fish or my kiddos face peering in. Your settings will be different.

Wish you could come play with is easier to explain and show in person than to put into writing. Makes me have to really think because it is second nature for me now. I hardly even think about what I am doing I just do it........but that is years and years and years of doing it (I think I have been working now in the field for 10 years yikes I am old)

here are some of my aquarium shots

PS I really love the little train ride shots all the details you captured. Especially the one of Sam looking out the window. SOOOOOOO SWEET. You are doing a great job on angles and details. And you are asking great questions. You will be a pro in no time. Cute pic of you look great.