Also know as: The Most Difficult Picture I've Ever Taken
There are two windows in Monkey's room—a large window that has a picturesque view of the inside of a window well (but does let in a lot of natural light) and a tiny window above his crib that has a wooden fence about 18 inches away from it. The first thing we did when we moved Monkey into his room was put up a tension shower curtain rod across the window and hang our binary blanket from it to block the light, so Monkey could actually sleep. The blanket is very thick, so only a tiny bit of light gets through around the edges.
Now that you're caught up to today… Monkey was napping, and I really wanted to take a picture of him—don't ask me why, because I'm not sure I have an answer for you. I obviously couldn't use the flash, but I figured I could just adjust settings. I grabbed my camera, shot a few practice photos in the hallway outside his room, and snuck in there with the exposure compensation on my little Kodak point-and-shoot dialed all the way to the max. After a couple completely black shots, I pulled the sides of the blanket back, to let in more light, and I still got this:
After running through a few GIMP filters, I achieved this:
Hmm… I can kinda tell what's going on here. I can see Monkey's face, and almost see the writing on his shirt. It still looks more like an ultrasound picture than a photograph, though.
I looked around in my camera settings, and found that this camera can do extended exposure. The first picture I took with the extended exposure (0.5 seconds) still turned out black, so I went to the highest setting, 4 seconds. I rested my elbows on the edge of the crib, prayed that this would be good enough and that Monkey would stay asleep, and got my picture:
Still not great, but it was somewhere to start! I did some color and threshold adjustments, ran a couple noise-reducing and then sharpening filters, and ended up with something halfway decent:
And now you know the story of the most difficult/complicated picture I've ever taken!
P.S. I've eaten a LOT of Chips Ahoy Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies in the last 24 hours—I think my intestines are now made of preservatives. Oops.