Baby in the Mirror

This has been one of the most frustrating photo projects I’ve taken on and I am still not happy with the end result. It all started with me sitting my baby on the floor in front of a small mirror to keep him entertained while I needed to do something in the kitchen. He looked so adorable in that mirror image that I had to grab my camera and take a photo of him. I spent some time yesterday evening tweaking the image in Photoshop and realized that a part of both of his feet was cut off in the mirror image. I posted the photo in Clickin’ Moms newbie feedback forum to get some independent feedback on the feet cut-off issue and to ask for any pointers people may have about how to improve the photo. And I got some pointers… Some things I had completely missed myself. The worst of it was that the non-mirror-image part of my baby was so out of focus that he looked more or less like a big blob on the photo, because I had taken the photo with a wide open aperture at f1,4. It was big and distracting, and I don’t understand how I missed that myself.

Fast forward today, I was trying to re-create the shot with using a off-camera flash to light up his face so that I could stop down the aperture for the shot. He was, of course, happy to sit in front of the mirror, but the flash really distracted him and he was constantly trying to look at the flash instead of smiling at himself in the mirror. In the end, I did get one shot of him looking at himself that seemed decent, but I could not get a smile out of him. Not a biggie, because he is cute either way, but overall the end result does not even come close to how I pictured it in my head. I made some minor adjustments to the image in Photoshop and saved the color image – which wasn’t too bad considering that I usually do not like my own photos in color – before converting it to black and white. Several prematurely merged layers later, I saved the now black and while image in jpeg… over the color one that I kind of liked… unintentionally… And I still do not like the black and white version. And it just so happens that now I am also really bothered by the background in the mirror image itself – the windowsill is going straight through the baby’s head and the plants on the windowsill seem to be growing out of his head as well. But it’s my photo for the day so I decided to post it anyway. I consider it a lesson learned.

(50mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/200 sec + manual flash at 1/16 power facing baby off to the right with Gary Fong collapsible lightsphere)

Baby in mirror

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