Just two days after photographing the snowflakes, my Aunt contacted me and told me that their Seahorse had babies and invited me over to take photos.  Pretty funny timing since I had just taken the snowflake photos and had concluded that was my most challenging subject to date, and now I decided to take on Seahorses.  Not adult Seahorses, baby Dwarf Seahorses.  ;)  In comparison of the snowflake photo outing, there were of course relative similarities in size of the snowflakes to the size of the Dwarf babies so my setup was exactly the same.  Lens: Canon 100mm Macro and 3 Kenko Extension Tubes (12mm, 20mm, and 36mm) using a tripod.  The lighting of the area was not setup well for photography and using the Extension Tubes cuts down the light even more.  I didn’t want to move the aquarium table and risk disturbing the Seahorses so I just worked with the available lighting along with a lamp.  With the snowflakes, I was able to set longer shutter speeds but I couldn’t do that as these little buggers never stopped moving.  High ISO combined with low f/stop to achieve a high enough shutter speed combined with using the Macro/Extension Tube combo meant that the plane of focus was very narrow.  Focusing in live-view was once again quite beneficial and this time I added a remote so that I could push a button to take the photo as soon as I achieved focus.  Of course there is also the added complication of photographing through the glass and water but at least I wasn’t risking frostbite with these subjects ;)

Photo of a Dwarf Baby Seahorse for Shalyn Nygaard Photography

Here is a fun little video I took using the same equipment.  You can get a feel for how much the babies move, even though they are small movements they are constantly in motion which makes it very difficult to focus and capture before focus is lost.  I stopped the video to snap the above photo with the Seahorse was looking directly towards the camera.

Photo of a Dwarf Baby Seahorse for Shalyn Nygaard Photography

Photo of a Dwarf Baby Seahorse for Shalyn Nygaard Photography

Photo of a Dwarf Baby Seahorse for Shalyn Nygaard Photography

I read that it is estimated that the Dwarf Baby Seahorses are approximately 1/4″ at birth.  I took a few pullback shots to try to show the scale of how incredibly tiny these creatures are that I was photographing.  As you can see, I’ve indicated that the width of the aquarium is 16 inches and I have circled, in red, the Seahorse that was the subject of all of the photos and videos above.

Aquarium photo to help explain scale of Dwarf Seahorse

And to try to show the scale again, here is a closer photo with the Seahorse circled.

Showing scale of Dwarf Baby Seahorse

We got a few inches of super light and fluffy snow this afternoon. While looking outside with the kids I commented that it looked like glitter – it was very pretty. I went out to shovel the sidewalk and could not resist taking photos of the snowflakes that I was seeing even though it was 7 degrees out and time to get the kids to sleep :)  This is the second time that I have photographed snowflakes and it was exponentially more difficult this time around!  The first time was mid-day in bright sunlight so I was able to hold the camera instead of using a tripod. With shutter speeds down to 1/20 second, a tripod was required this time around. My setup included a 100mm Macro and 3 Kenko Extension Tubes (12mm, 20mm, and 36mm). With the Extension Tubes the lens can focus closer than the lens’ usual minimum focusing distance. With this setup there isn’t much room for focusing capabilities like usual as you are taking a photo – you physically have to move the camera forward and backward until the focus is pretty close and then fine-tune with the focus on the lens. This is very challenging when the camera is on a tripod and the subject you are photographing is very tiny :)

Basically I turned live-view on in the camera so that I could see the subject on the screen and moved the camera around until I saw a snowflake illuminated, stopped the tripod there, then focused. Lots of trial and error in finding the snowflakes and I ended up staying outside much longer than I was dressed for ;)

Even though I was photographing a thick pile of fresh snow, the exterior house lights were causing just certain snowflakes to sparkle per viewing angle so this (combined with a low f-stop) allowed for me to get photos where single snowflakes were able to stand out and be isolated. I literally never saw one of the snowflakes that I was photographing with my eyes due to the tiny snowflake size and the ones that were illuminated with my eyes were not the same as those that were illuminated from the point of view of my camera.

Macro of Snowflakes

 

Macro of Snowflakes

Macro of Snowflakes

Macro of Snowflakes

And some behind the scenes iPhone shots to attempt to show the scale of the snowflakes, how close I was photographing, and my setup. You can see how just a few snowflakes are really standing out and shining, this is how I was able to capture the snowflakes so illuminated and pretty isolated even though it was a blanket of snow.

Kenko Extension Tubes with 100mm MacroKenko Extension Tubes with 100mm Macro

In live-view mode, I was able to zoom in to fine-tune the focus on the snowflakes. Here is how the first snowflake above looked from behind the camera.

Kenko Extension Tubes with 100mm Macro

I’ve had this pink background for almost 2 years and I just realized that I had never used it. It’s been on my mind now. I felt inspired to do a Valentine’s Day themed photoshoot with my two youngest kids and after seeing the results, I just love them! So I have decided to offer Valentine’s Day Mini Sessions in my River Falls, Wisconsin studio. The sessions will each be 15 minutes long and on the pink background for Valentine’s fun. Sessions will be $100 and include either 3 digital files (with printing rights) or 25 photo Valentine’s Day cards. The photo cards would be perfect for your child’s classmates or family and friends! Sessions will be on Saturday, February 7 and I will work fast to get either your images or your cards to you by the 11th so you have them in time for parties, mailing, email, or sharing on social media. I limit my mini sessions to ages 3 months and up as newborns take much longer to work with/pose than mini sessions allow for :) We can always discuss options like this during regular sessions at Shalyn Nygaard Photography as well if you have a newborn or would like to book a session for more time.

Contact me to reserve your spot!  shalyn@shalynnygaard.com or message me on Facebook.

Twin Cities Photographer

 

I asked him to kiss her cheek and they both smooched ;)  I’ll take it!

Valentine

 

A little prop fun!

Valentine

 

Recently she has been too busy for all of mom’s photosession requests so I was excited that she was so into the photoshoot today :)

River Falls Photographer

 

And of course some of my sweet little guy :)

Twin Cities Photographer

River Falls Photographer

Henry was long awaited, and not just because he made his debut late.  Henry decided he needed an extra eight days to do some extra growing inside his momma though and it was successful as he was born at 9 pounds 4 ounces :)  Henry’s daddy was a next door neighbor of mine when we were growing up but I didn’t meet his mommy until her gorgeous maternity shoot when we took advantage of some of the last nice days of Fall.

Henry was so sweet, I got to meet him at just 8 days new.  A full head of hair and lots of squish!  Henry was one of my last sessions before the holidays and his family sent out combination Christmas and Baby Announcement cards. One side of the card was for Christmas and one side for welcoming Henry, perfect. Ellsworth-Wisconsin-Newborn-Photographer

Newborn sessions always require images with their parents and siblings in my studio :)

Ellsworth-Wisconsin-newborn-photography

I just love black and white images of baby hands and feet with their mommy and daddy’s hands, seriously so precious!

Twin-Cities-Newborn-Photographer

Henry’s momma is quite talented and crafty – she made that gorgeous handspun yarn fluffy that Henry got to lay on to stay cozy on the vintage sled.  She also made the adorable knit lamb hat and enjoyed a little cuddle with her cute lamb.

Twin-Cities-Newborn-Photographer

Ellsworth-Wisconsin-Newborn-Photographer

Ellsworth-Wisconsin-Newborn-Photographer

I love that this family ordered a canvas series for displaying in their home!  How gorgeous is this going to be for them to see everyday?!

Twin-Cities-Photography-Canvas

 

 

Twin Cities maternity photographer.jpgAt Shalyn Nygaard Photography, I love focusing on the ages that I’m passionate about photographing – newborns, babies, toddlers, and preschoolers – of course including cake smash sessions! It was only natural that I increase my offerings to include maternity photography!  Now expectant parents can come to me for capturing or announcing all of their baby news from announcing they are expecting to gender reveals to capturing the beauty that is a mother’s body during pregnancy :)

Thanks to Hallie and Casey for trusting me with your maternity – and upcoming newborn – sessions.  This Momma was a pleasure to photograph – her skin is so gorgeous and flawless that I didn’t have to touch up a single thing! She rocked her session so much that as I was editing I was curious if she watched America’s Next Top Model. Turns out she does catch some episodes and I could tell because she definitely knew how to smize ;) All the fans out there know what I’m talking about.

Hallie and I love this image the most from their session! I love the peaceful feel of it – a mother patiently (or at least trying to be patient!) waiting for her baby to arrive, a long-awaited baby.

River Falls maternity.jpg

Twin Cities maternity.jpg

As a photographer, one of the things that I often hear is that couples haven’t gotten photos of themselves taken in a long time – perhaps since their wedding.  Even then, I often hear that in the digital age, many of the wedding photos are still on the disk – never printed and no professional photos displayed. That’s why I love this image, it is only about Casey and Hallie, not the baby that is soon to arrive and change so much in their lives, just their relationship. This recurring story is also why it is my goal with each session to have my clients order photos to display in their home, not hidden away on a disk.

expectant parents.jpgTwin Cities Maternity.jpg

Contact me today to book your session!