This week I witnessed and documented the birth of a little girl from two very special friends.
In Fall 2001, I was a freshman in high school algebra. Because of the alphabetical seating I sat next to a girl with a similar disposition in personality and life experiences as myself. An acquaintance became a friendship, and as years went by we've remained friends and connected even when others who could be considered closer friends at one point or another have fallen away.
At some point she met, dated, and fell in love with a charming and inspiring young man. We too, quickly became friends, him being the Penn to my Teller, a voice to my thoughts, objectively honest and pragmatic. He too would remain connected over the years, leading to this very moment when both He and Her would bring a new life into our world.
Photographing a delivery, documenting it a tactful artistic manner was a workout for my brain. Nothing is planned, everything is fleeting and each moment can be THE moment to capture.
To capture these moments I stuck with a kit lens 18-55mm on my Canon DSLR. I didn't want to lug around a case with lenses or any gear for that matter and I have yet to get my hands on a nice fixed lens camera like the Fujifilm x100s.
The delivery room was incredibly low lit, being that a woman in labor is apparently very sensitive to light. These conditions means bumping up the ISO, opening up the aperture, and slowing down the shutter speed. That high ISO gave me a lot of noise in my images, shooting RAW helped with processing these images and getting the best quality I could with my equipment.
While in the Delivery Room my ISO never dipped below 800, mostly floating around 1600 which on the Canon t3i's cropped sensor, is just tough to muscle through. My shutter never faster than 1/100th of a second. I found myself having to frame up, find a focus point, adjust exposure, then waiting for all my subjects to almost come to a complete stop before I can press the shutter button otherwise sharpness or clarity of any kind would be impossible.
It was an educational experience, and a pleasure to capture a moment both of them will cherish for the rest of their lives.