My daughter asked me to take pictures at the hospital when she has her baby, my first grandchild. I have a canon T3i with 3 lens to choose from: 18-55mm 4.5, a 50mm 1.4, and a 55-250mm 4.0. I want to give her some awesome photos. I would like to know what lens I should use and what would be the best settings? Thank you.


  • Hi @TINA1995
    First of all - congratulations Gran!!
    I would think your 50mm F1.4 would be the best choice, but you may find that you still need to use your flash. The built in flash is fine, but I would just throw a tissue over it to diffuse the flash and produce less harsh shadows.
    As for settings, I suggest using Program (P) mode and auto ISO. Let the camera do all the guesswork and leave you free to compose those awesome shots.
    Couple of things to be aware of. In P mode the flash does not pop up automatically, so if you feel the need to use it, press the little button to pop it up. Also, hospital lighting where fluorescent tubes are in use can produce colour casts in your pictures. You may want to check out some of the white balance presets if auto white balance is a little off, but you can only really do that once you are in the hospital.
    Have fun and just think - these shots will be the first few in the hundreds that Grandma is going to take over the next few years.
    Best regards
  • I second the 50/1.4, and I suspect that if the light is reasonable you won't need flash. Back in film days I shot a couple of births with a flashless Leica, a 50/F2 lens, and ISO400 black and white film and it worked pretty well. As I recall I didn't even need to push the film when I developed it. I doubt you'll have much trouble if you can shoot at 1.4 and get your ISO up to 800 or more. Double check the noise on your own camera and your own preference, and keep your ISO below what offends, and if the Canon allows it put that as your top limit on auto ISO.

    If you shoot in Raw mode, you can fix color balance afterwards. If you shoot in JPG it will be harder, so try to take some wasted shots in the light you get, chimp them, and be ready to change the white balance on the fly. Study the effects of the presets so you know quickly what to do if the image is too blue or too yellow. Or, of course, you can always ignore white balance, and shoot in black and white.

    If you're not comfortable with hand holding at slow speeds, practice a little first. And remember that with a digital camera you can take a million shots free, so shoot in bursts and keep trying, because even if you have to shoot uncomfortably slow at times, some shots will usually come out better than others.
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