This photo was a good example of how a lot of the images I’ve taken and posted here on Weekly Fifty have helped me learn practical skills as a photographer that ended up directly impacting the occasional work I do for clients. I don’t have a macro lens, and I don’t exactly plan on getting one any time soon, but every now and then a situation arises in which I need to take close-up shots of something. Usually nature, but sometimes small objects and, occasionally, something like the image above where you can see a little baby clasping a parent’s fingers.
When a friend of ours asked if I would take some photos of their two-week-old son I was glad to oblige, and I felt a lot more prepared for this one than I have for similar sessions in the past. I went with my D750 and 50mm lens, foregoing my 85 because I just like the look of that particular focal length when working with infants, and also because I wanted something a lot more light, nimble, and let’s face it, practical than my 70-200 f/2.8. (I mean seriously, who shoots an infant session with that lens? Some people, I suppose, but not me!) I also brought my Fuji X100F just in case, but I ended up not needing it at all as the Nifty Fifty did everything I needed.
After several shots of the baby all snuggled in a big fluffy blanket from lots of different angles, I wanted to switch things up a bit so I reached for my set of close-up filters to get some more intimate photos of his eyes, fingers, and other features. Thanks to all the trial-and-error with those filters over the years here on Weekly Fifty I already had a pretty good idea of the exposure settings I would need to get the shots I was aiming for:
- F/5.6 to get a reasonably wide depth of field and to allow for a little wiggle room when focusing.
- 1/90 second to get a sharp, wobble-free image
- Auto ISO with max value of 6400 because the D750 is so good at high ISO values it’s not even funny. Even modern image sensors have a tough time beating the rock-solid sensor in the D750.
I was really happy with the results I got, and the parents were too. A true macro lens would have definitely helped in this situation but these opportunities present themselves so rarely that I’m fine with just sticking with the close-up filters. For now, anyway :)