Family Gatherings

Grampa reads to the kids

Grampa reads to the kids

My goal was simple: to capture at least one good photo of each of the members of my family who attended our annual holiday party.

But having the camera in hand made me see things in a whole new way. Everywhere I turned, the different types of light – always just behind my subject – threatened to defeat me in my quest. Suddenly, the pretty table lamp seemed to cast an ominous yellow glare behind my father’s head; the bright cheery winter sunshine washed out everything in its path, making it almost impossible to identify whomever was sitting in the corner chair. Everywhere I turned, normally benign souces of light glared at me, daring me to capture my subject faithfully.

Unprepared, I faced the situation like a deer in headlights. Of course now, the morning after, I can immediately identify the two settings that would have helped me triumph over the evil light: white balance and metering. Alas, too late.

Butch with unusual light source

Butch's inner glow shines through

In the end, the battle was a draw. I did manage to get some number of decent photos, posted on my picasaweb site. However, I came up short on shots of Ken and Bud, and other pictures came up yellow after the sun went down.  And all of the great candid opportunities came out fuzzy, a result of turning down the shutter speed in an attempt to pull in more light. I guess we’ll just need to have another party.

Coulda shoulda woulda:
No white balance? No problem! I’d just leave the white balance to post-processing since I was shooting in RAW! Except… I wasn’t shooting in RAW. Grrr. I was *sure* I had left the camera on that setting.

Dark subject in bright light? If I had thought about it ahead of time, I would have used partial metering. But I didn’t think about it at all. I’ll get you next time, sunshine…

My kids

Ashley's turn to open a gift


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