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Blueprint: That Cute, Fast 1 Year Old

Blueprint: That Cute, Fast 1 Year Old

After my post on Pioneer Woman’s site about challenges photographing a 1 year old, I got a lot of questions. What lens, what settings, how did I get the b&w, etc… I figured the best way to answer these was in a blueprint.

I shot this image with my Canon 5D MKII with the Canon 50 1.2 lens. I wanted to use natural light but the shot was early evening and there was not a lot of indoor light inside at this hour.  I boosted my ISO to 2,000 so that I could regain some light in camera. This camera can handle high ISOs beautifully.  I also believe a little grain never hurt anyone. I set my aperture fairly wide at f 2.5, but not completely wide open, as Gavin was on the move. My speed was at 1/200 – I needed a fast shutter, but not as fast as if shooting a track star (maybe someday).

Details on the edit and which MCP Photoshop actions were used (straight out of camera shown 1st, then the final image 2nd):

  1. I started editing this shot my using Noiseware since I shot at a high ISO. I used the default portrait settings on a duplicate layer and reduced the opacity to 65%.
  2. Next I ran Crackle from the Quickie Collection to give the photo some dimension.
  3. Then I ran the Color Burst action from the Complete Workflow Set. I kept all layers at the default opacity.
  4. I noticed his skin coloring was off so I used the Magic See-Saw action from the Bag of Tricks action set.
  5. I wanted to enhance the eyes, so I ran the Eye Doctor action.  I used the Catchlight layer and Sharp as a Tack.
  6. I decided that while the color now looked okay, I wanted to take away the distraction of color from this portrait. I decided to convert to black and white.  I possibly could have skipped the color correction since it was minor, but I made this decision afterward.
  7. To get a black and white, I use Vanilla Ice Cream from the Quickie Collection on top.


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  1. January 15, 2010 at 9:21 am — Reply

    […] 1 votes vote Blueprint: That Cute, Fast 1 Year Old After my post on Pioneer Woman’s site about challenges photographing a 1 year old, I got a […]

  2. Katy G
    January 15, 2010 at 9:53 am — Reply

    Thanks for sharing that..I’m always interested in which lens photographers use. I’m debating on whether or not I should get that lens or the 24-70 2.8 for portraits, newborns. Seeing pictures taken w/ the lens and camera I have is always a help!

  3. January 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm — Reply

    Thanks for sharing these blueprints – they really help and this is a great picture! I have an 18 month old, so I know how hard it is..

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Blueprint: That Cute, Fast 1 Year Old