Archive for parenthood

9 Months in 1.5 minutes

Posted in art, culture, life, photography with tags , , on September 9, 2009 by killahfunkadelic

Over the course of my wife’s pregnancy last fall and this spring, we decided to document the inevitable expansion of the bump into a full blown belly, and then an actual living, breathing, screaming infant. Every week we took about 5 shots standing in front of a glass door, with Sonya wearing the same outfit for the sake of continuity. 132+ shots, nine months and one delivery later, we had a stack of images that chronicled the life-changing event, seemingly so slowly at the time.

However, take those 132 shots and compile them into a timeline, add a soundtrack and you’ve got something quite compelling: the pregnancy time-lapse video. Our purpose was mostly to chronicle it for our son to someday see what his mom went through before he arrived, and to share the progress with friends and family. It was also pretty cool to watch the seasons outside change from summer to fall, then winter and finally green up again in spring. Post production was a bit more involved than I had originally intended, as the camera location drifted slightly from week to week and the shots needed to be aligned or adjusted and cropped very carefully. Should have just marked a spot on the floor after all and left a tripod up.

So this video has been sitting on YouTube (a very handy way to post and share video + bandwidth for friends and family mind you) for several months now, almost drifted out of consciousness when out of the blue I got an inquiry from a Canadian newspaper that had found the video and others like it and wanted an interview. Sure, no sweat, happy to oblige. We are mentioned briefly in the article, which is nice, and for the most part all is good.

And then the comments. Granted, some people are born to be negative all the time but some went so far as to call the videos vulgar and gross. Vulgar? REALLY? C’mon, it’s a belly. If you can’t take a bare belly or the site of a pregnant woman, then you have more serious issues at play. Seriously. Don’t ever turn on your television, NEVER leave your house and don’t even THINK about opening another magazine. Ever. But whatever you do, do NOT surf YouTube and play any video that says ‘pregnancy time-lapse’.

Photo Op: Vegetables

Posted in food, photography with tags , , , on July 23, 2009 by killahfunkadelic
A simple overhead shot with bounce fill

A simple overhead shot with bounce fill

Ever since news arrived last summer of our son’s expected delivery, my wife Sonya started journaling about the whole pregnancy experience, which has now evolved into a Raleigh thrifty parenthood blog as we learn how to best provide for our family in a socially responsible and budget-conscious manner. Entries touch upon parenting subjects such as cloth diapering, decorating, renovating, and more recently recipe experiments.

As a dutiful and loving husband, I’m more than happy to help out with the occasional photography assignment for the blog. Last night, she had an idea for a new entry about the bounty of our local CSA‘s weekly haul (we got a double share this week) and subsequent recipes had us posing vegetables as interestingly as vegetables can possibly be posed. Now as a three month old, our son North has become the grounding center of our universe. Our North star, if you will. So it comes as no surprise that he ‘found’ his way into this latest picture.

To set up this shot was actually fairly simple: Sonya did a great job staging the larger vegetables on a clear circular platter and placed the arrangement on a picnic table. The creme pea shells were piled next to the platter, and North got in on the action resting on the pile of peas. Of course Sonya made sure North’s pockets and hands had the appropriate props.

To shoot, it was simply a matter of standing on the picnic table bench and holding the camera overhead, about 3-4 feet from the subject with the lens at 18mm. The light was soft to begin with as it was dusk, so for fill light simply used an attached SB-800 strobe with its diffuser, pointed backwards (or upwards in this case). As it happens, over the picnic table there is an overhanging eave painted white that worked as a fantastic reflector. The resulting fill was nicely balanced.

So what have we learned here? If you want to make vegetables a little more engaging, just add a cute kid.