Today I decided to work on my pictures and try to apply what I learned in my first photography class. Ellen and Cole are always willing subjects - mostly because they don't have a choice! - so after they ate, I started clicking away.
I thought I was shooting in aperture priority mode, but I just realized I was actually shooting in shutter speed priority mode (TV for Canon users). Oops! :) I still like the pictures I was able to get.
Based on what I've been reading and what our instructor said, light is a big factor in good pictures. Natural light is best; the pop-up flash on your camera isn't going to cut it. When not shooting in Auto, the flash won't just pop-up, so you don't have to worry about it getting in your way.
I've also been reading about making sure the light is in your subject's eye. So, I positioned myself right under a window so that Cole and Ellen would look toward the window and get the light in their eyes.
I've also learned a little bit about manual AF point selection. Now, I really didn't know exactly what I was doing, but I wanted to just play around to see what would happen. With manual AF selection (as far as my limited knowledge is concerned) there is a small red dot that appears when you push the shutter release (the button used to take the picture) halfway down. I have read that the dot should be focused on the white part of the eye closest to the nose. (So in the picture below, the red dot appeared in Cole's right eye - as you're looking at the picture - to the left of the iris.)
I think most of the time, photographers focus the dot in the eye closest to the camera (which I tried to do below with Ellen).
I think these pictures are much, much better than the ones I've gotten in the past - partly due to my increased knowledge of how my camera works, and partly due to the time I spent thinking about lighting and such.
Even though these pictures could use a little work in Photoshop or Lightroom, I'm pretty proud of what I got. I tried really hard to capture their eyes - because I just LOVE their eyes - and I think I accomplished that.
Hopefully I'll be able to get more pictures this weekend (maybe even some of them without bibs on!), and I'll be sure to share.