Sunday 13 December 2009

Here they are

Like most of Britain, I live in a small Victorian terrace- you've no doubt seen these in gritty English dramas. This means that we only have windows at the front and back of the house (since the side walls are shared with our neighbours). Also, it's always raining. This means that my house is dark. Like, DARK. As in, really, really dark. This has been driving me absolutely crazy because I've got these adorable babies, constantly doing cute things, and it is impossible to get decent photos when there is no light. (SLR users - when I say dark, I've set my portrait lens to f/1.8 and in the middle of the day I'm still needing a shutter speed of about 1/2 s in natural light. At f/1.8. So yeah, dark).

Anyway, long story short, I got myself a really bright light to combat the borderline SAD I always get around this time of year (possibly related to the very dark house? Hmmmm) and bingo! Two birds with one stone - not only do I feel lively, I now have some photos that aren't just a big blurry mess. (Note two for SLR users - I also pulled out my big flash, which helped a lot, and yes of course I should have done that earlier. But even using ceiling bounce, which is really my only trick, I find it hard to get nice light with this as my primary source. Any tips for home lighting setups that can be managed between naps would be much appreciated. And don't just say move somewhere sunny, I've thought of that one).

So anyway, less talking, more cuteness, yes? (And apologies, by the way, to anybody who is getting a thankyou card from me because these are the same photos. Pretend to be surprised, okay?)

I really, really underestimated how hard it is to get two babies looking at the camera at the same time. Or even with their heads facing in approximately the right direction. Trying for smiles as well? Or matching clothes? Hmmmm, not yet.

I'm so pleased about how chubby they are getting.

This is beautiful baby L.

and her little feet
She has found her hands
and loves to smile and shout
and this is her pirate face. She opens her mouth like this and makes a loud 'ARGGGHHH' sound, like a pirate. I wasn't really expecting a baby who was ready to sail the high seas.
Baby I wasn't really in the mood for smiling (he's still in his pyjamas, to my shame) but I got this one:
and this one:
but overall, he found the whole experience fairly confusing. I'll try again another day.
(Note three - does anybody know how to get around the issue of the blockiness of these photos on blogspot? They are not blocky in real life, and look completely different on flickr. I know some of you manage to post photos on blogspot that look razor sharp - any hints gratefully taken. It's not the resolution, because I tested with some hi-res photos and no change).

I don't really know what else to say now except 'hey! Check out my cute babies!' Next on my list of things I need to post about is their names - people's reactions to their names have been a bit unexpected. If I forget, remind me.


  1. OMG they are gorgeous! So so so Gorgeous. And I am qualified to say so cause I KNOW gorgeous twins when I see them...having two gorgeous ones myself you know :-) Re smiling at the same time: we save one thing they both find hysterical (like me hooting like an owl)and then try not to over use it so we can save it for pictures. As for lighting--my big problem is the babies always come out shiny! Their nose, cheeks and chins have big shine spots...but obviously in real life they aren't shiny or wet or sweaty. So I guess that's my flash bounce off their skin?!?! TIps on that? But back to you...they are amazing and yes, look chubbier already. Wait till the hair comes...that has been the biggest surprise (both joyful and sad) for me. Makes them look so grown up!

  2. Those two are becoming positively corpulent. And, as Kat already mentioned, gorgeous!

  3. Beautiful, fat, happy babies!!! They are everything babies should be -- but even better 'cause they're YOURS!

  4. cute!? CUTE?? I think that word might very well pale in comparison to you sweet, beautiful, getting rounder ball s of deliciousness!! they are soooo beautiful! thanks for sharing!

  5. Claudia, they are gorgeous! And you are doing soooo much better with the photos than we ever did. I have given up on getting them to both even LOOK in the same direction. I now let them do their thing and just zone in on one at a time or take pics with them playing with toes, fighting with each other, etc :)

    Can't wait to hear about the names and I didn't know you were in England :)

  6. Do you really think we will let you forget about the name telling? Hmmm? Your children are exquisite. I agree about the photos on blogspot, they just don't seem to compare. I think that is why some bloggers end up paying a fee for more freedom to post photos in their true amazing-ness. However, your photos could not be more amazing, perhaps it is because of the subjects!

  7. Wow, they are so big and healthy and beautiful looking! You're doing a great job.

    As far as the photography goes, if you think it's hard now, just wait until they're crawling around or walking around. It becomes impossible to get good shots. :)

  8. oh Seriously!!! Baby L and I are so adorable it makes me heart hurt!!

  9. OMG they are just the cutest little things!!! I can't stand it!!! I am in love!

  10. i host my images on photobucket, and then when writing a post I edit the html tab and copy in the link that is under the image in photobucket. in photobucket you can decide how large you want the image to show, i pick for 15" computer screens and it makes it nice a large. (like the photo i did on my most recent post).

    if that doesn't make sense i can help. let me know.

    ok, so for lighting set up, i would try duct taping together some white foam poster board, big big peices so they create a little fake white wall. if you tape them so they can stand up on their own in a V shape or even three sides so you have a flat wall with two sides that helps it stand up too. get this as CLOSE as you can to the babies without being in the picture, on the opposite side of that the window is on, and it will bounce light from the window onto the opposite side of their faces, and you can practice bouncing the flash into it as well. Another thing that might sound funny, but one time I was taking shots of some kids in a tent that we had erected in the LR. Your basic, camping 2 man tent. Using my 580ex flash bouncing up, i got CRAZY great light spread because of the low low ceiling of the tent and the dome shape dispersed the light evening. So, I know flash isn't as lovely as natural light. I fight back and forth as well. But it's not a bad option. the key is to try to fill in the shadows by using some kind of reflection. If none of thsi makes sense, email me and let me know... because it's a pain to open up to 1.8 because then your depth of field is too narrow and their noses will be focus and not their eyes. Also, depending on your camera bump up the ISO a bit. Mine (canon 40D) is getting to be a bit antiquated and drives me insane because anything past 300 ISO is grainy. It's just stupid. I want to be able to go up to 1200 if needed.

    PS. They are SOOOOOO cute. You did great!

  11. Oh.My.Goodness. They are the sweetest things I have ever seen!!!
    I literally RAN over to Alex with my computer to show him right away. He oooohed and ahhhhed just like me.

    :) Sarah

  12. Fat and delicious looking - like little plum puddings. I am in awe of them and the way they have blossomed. Not a chance any of us will let you forget to post their names! Amanda

  13. The pirate face is the best!! Hee.

  14. me (I think you can through my blog...?) with your private email address and I"ll send you photos to prove you can get twins to smile simultaneously...if your hoot is good enough that is :-)

  15. um ..... i love your babies and with jammies that cute do you really need another outfit?!?!

    i thought i had already left a comment so i'm confused when i come here to see that i haven't.

    so just to reinforce what everyone else has agreed with me on ... they are beautiful and growing and i wish i could hold them so badly.

    on another note ... name post please!!!!!!!!!

    i'm really anxious to know their names. so hook us up!!!

  16. Ok, it has officially been one week so this is a friendly reminder that I'm ready and waiting to read their names!!! Would it be manipulative to tell you that my foggy depression might lift if I could only know your children's names? That's not creepy is it? So hard to know what is weird and line crossing when leaving comments on blogs!

  17. Oh C! They are beyond amazing! I have tears in my eyes after seeing these pics! I can't wait to read your blog more often when I have a steady computer (like a steady boyfriend, eh?)...hugs!!!!



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