Last fall, my oldest and her husband were blessed with a son, Elliott. Right, that makes me a grandfather, and no other word has made me feel older. If you have followed this site from the beginning (celebrating 20 years this fall), it might make you feel old too.
It was time for another round of Elliott pictures. Timing baby pictures, even for babies as adorable as Elliott (I admit bias in that regard), revolves around the short durations between eating, sleeping, and being fussy.
It was nearly noon when I got the "We're ready!" call. Outdoor pics were requested, and the available lighting was from a bright overhead sun. The good location option under this bright spotlighting condition is facing outward from just inside a shade, yielding a large, but directional, soft light. A patio was the choice for this example.
These pics were all about Elliott, and a sense of place was not important. The Canon RF 135mm F1.8 L IS USM Lens was my easy first choice. Especially with the close subject distance required to fill the frame with a baby, this lens easily turned the background into a strong blur.
The shallow depth of field produced by the 135mm and f/1.8 combination at close distances challenges a camera's AF system. With a DSLR, a significant percentage of always-moving baby pics with such a lens would be at least slightly out of focus, and getting a perfectly focused image combined with the perfect baby pose is difficult.
With the latest round of mirrorless cameras, the challenge has become selecting the favorite image to share (and having the fortitude to delete cute baby pictures to avoid overload). The Canon EOS R5 in servo mode with people eye detection AF enabled allowed me to focus on framing and shutter release timing. The camera's results were nearly perfect. Image selection was almost exclusively based on Elliott and I coordinating on the timing and framing.
Post processing primarily involved use of the drool and mulch removal tools. Check out how sharp this eye is:
Most results looked like this. Drool inspiring.
Hopefully you picked up a photo tip and felt the joy of this little boy.