Photography, Is Flash Bad for Babies?
This is an article written by a good friend, about what he’s learnt about flash photography and babies. Do read on…
This sort of question always comes up with anything that is new, that we are not used to. For e.g. would you stop using mobile phone as some claim that it could cook your brain (we all use micro-waves to warm foods)? Some even warn that micro-waving food is also damaging to your health. I have no idea, and I am cautious. As I believe research done that proves wrong are usually funded by a company that has commercial interest in selling micro-wave devices.
Anyway, I am sometimes inundated in my email with the pictures that new parents take. Either they are too excited with their newly purchased digital camera or their new baby. Of course, we all would like to have pictures – loads of them; especially, of when we were babies, when we looked beautiful.
Is there actually a limit?
- Avoid using Flash. Make sure you have proper light coming in while taking pictures. Goes without the saying that the good time to take the picture is the day time.
- Use big apertures (i.e. smaller numbers) to let enough light in.
- Use faster ISO such as 400, but it would bring in more noise. You can get less noisy pictures by using slow ISO such as 100, but best taken when you have a tripod.
- Use longer exposure (this is the shutter speed) while indoors. Longer the better but too long not good. Again using a tripod is advised.
- Do not use flash in a dark room and while she is awake. I do not know whether it is harmful to the eye, but I feel irritated and I am sure the babies do too.
Conclusion: Play Safe
Nobody seems to be conclusive on how bad a camera Flash is on the fragile eyes, in any case I would avoid it; after all his/her well being is important.
At last, the easy way to do is, you can tell the camera to turn off the flash, buy yourself a tripod and a zoom lens. This will be less intimidating to the child and you will be guaranteed to get stunning pictures which will tell the story for life.
But one thing that I always have a problem with, is that I do not know how to command the baby to stay still, do you know how?
Happy taking pictures.
Some Sources that Say that ‘Camera Flash is Not Harmful to Babies’:
We may not know for sure, but here are some sources that have a definite opinion. The strongest is probably the first link.
- Orange Regional Medical Center: NICU Parenting guide: “We encourage you to take pictures of your baby. Flash cameras are allowed and will not harm your baby.”
- Are Camera Flashes Harmful to a Baby’s Eyes?
- Blinded by the light (snopes.com)
- Is it possible to blind a baby with a camera’s flash?