This is one of my favourite photos ever. It captures the moment when Jessica met baby Sophie for the very first time. Unfortunately as the room was fairly dim and Jessica is quite a wrigglebottom, she is a bit blurred in the shot. I love the photo in spite of this though.
Using black and white photography for birth photos is ideal. It minimises the impact of the goriness that is inevitable following the birth of a baby. The vernix covering Sophie’s head is much less noticeable and no-one needs to see the red tinge to the water! Most of my health professional friends would be perfectly comfortable with seeing this shot in vivid technicolou However, I suspect the more squeamish amongst my friends would not be!
This week is about sharing tips and tricks for black and white photography. I’m not a brilliant photographer by any stretch of the imagination but here are some of the tips I’ve picked up from friends who are.
1. Use RAW format when taking photos
Using RAW format gives you much more scope for editing and enhancing your photos afterwards. If you shoot in JPG, the photo is compressed and much less information is stored with the image. This gives you fewer options for adjusting it if needed afterwards. I tend to save files as both on my camera as JPGs are easier to open and view quickly on my laptop if I am away somewhere (my photo editing software is on my main computer at home).
2. Shoot in colour
You can always convert to black and white afterwards.
3. Learn what the settings do on your camera
Play around as much as possible and learn what all those manual settings do rather than just sticking to the automatic settings. Have to confess I’m still very much a novice here. I’ve got my head around shutter speed quite nicely now but still getting to grips with playing with the aperture settings and depth of field.
4. Get as many of the settings right as possible when taking the photo
Yes you can edit many things afterwards but it is much easier if you don’t have to!
5. Find photo editing software that works for you
I use Aperture as I find it very easy to change things with this. I can quickly batch edit photos if the same things need adjusting on each and then tweak each photo individually if needed.