Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lesson No. 1, kid.

Get your fingers off the lens, kid.
Years ago I wrote a photography column for The London Free Press. One column encouraged readers to let their children use the family camera. Watch them carefully, I said, don't let them drop the thing. To prove that kids could be trusted, I borrowed a friend's five-year-old and headed off to a local park.

After breakfast can I take some pictures.
The little one did quite well. In fact, for years I used her picture of a number of swimming water birds to shame grad students at Western into applying themselves at photography.

My granddaughter is almost 32-months-old and I'm thinking it is time to hand her the camera. She agrees. We go for walks and she sees stuff that interests her. Pointing this stuff out, she tells me, "Get out the camera. That makes a picture!"

Rather than take orders from a toddler, I'm giving her the camera. Heck, she is always saying, "I want to do it myself." I've decided, "O.K. kid, do it yourself."

I say, you're never too young to learn to keep your fingers off the camera lens. That'll be lesson number one.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Be Prepared

The fast f/2.0 lens of my Canon SD90 comes through again.
Little Eloise has wonderful skin: Blemish free and a healthy, rosy hue.

Sitting in her car seat with her purple Teddy bear Violet, the lighting in our hallway entrance was perfect. It was soft but directional and clean. The colour temperature could not have been better. All that was needed was a catch light in her eyes.

I took a few shots in case she never did look up. I didn't want to come away with no picture at all. But, I was in luck, she glanced upwards and "Snap!" I had the picture.

Learn to watch the light illuminating your subject; Anticipate future action. Photographers are wise to apply the motto of the Boy Scouts: "Be prepared."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

For want of a battery the photos were lost

All images shot with my Canon PowerShot SD90.
 Today I went with a friend to the Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge. The place has something on the order of 2000 butterflies and moths flitting about the exhibition hall. There are lots of picture opportunities.

With today's point and shoots, with their relatively fast lenses, both close-up and telephoto capabilities, taking pictures should be, forgive me, a snap. Unfortunately, my friend packed it in early. His battery died and he had not brought along his spare.

I know he has one. When he got his little point and shoot, I insisted he buy a spare battery and I encouraged him to carry it with him whenever he was out taking pictures.

Many folk think erroneously that taking pictures is hard. It isn't. Not anymore. Just being there is often enough, as long as you are there with a working camera. This means having at least two batteries: a fresh one in the camera and another in your pocket. For most of us, this will get us through a day's shooting.

And don't forget the card. I like my SD cards with lots of capacity --- 8 GB is my smallest card. I don't want my shooting grinding to halt because my SD card is full. For a bit more about the day and another image from the shoot, please check out London Daily Photo.