Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/05/18

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Subject: [Leica] Filter for hospital shots
From: "Emanuel Lowi" <>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2000 20:39:57 -0500

Three years ago I photographed the birth of my #2 son (Ezra). I was working on a
story about a new midwifery unit at a hospital in the Arctic and serendipity provided
the editors of Canadian Geographic magazine with the perfect combo: a photographer
(me) whose wife would be birthing there during the assignment.

I was advised to shoot Fuji 800 colour neg. I really did need the extra speed, using
the 28/2.8 and 21/3.4. I used two bodies, so no lens changing and no re-loading (too
much of a hassle given my strong emotional involvement in the situation). Filtration
would have robbed me of too much light - all artificial. 

I shot mostly from my wife's side - standing or crouching near her shoulder. I think
shooting full frontal is a bit much and your beloved probably does not want you in
her face with your camera during moments of discomfort. Have a heart.

The pix of the birth were good, but the best came in the moments immediately after
the baby was delivered, him being dried off and wrapped up and feeding for the first
time. Good printing got us some nice colour. 

The magazine later chose to not run any of the photos from the delivery room (they
felt they were just too personal), but used many of my others of various expectant
mothers arriving to give birth, their check-ups, introducing the newborns to their
families etc. 

You can probably create your own nice story of the experience too if you shoot more
than just the actual birth. I'm not promising you that your wife is going to look at
these photos very often - but your child will appreciate them later in life.

Emanuel Lowi