Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Capture painted face before it melts in heat

Little kids love to have their faces painted. My granddaughter is no exception. She wanted a picture of her painted look. It wasn't going to last in Sunday's heat and I think she knew it.

For a family picture, the lady doing the art is not all that important. I got in tight and cropped out the artist. I only included her hands to frame Fiona's little face

Shots like this demand one fills the frame. I used the 105mm setting on my Canon S90. This allowed a frame-filling composition but done at a comfortable distance. You can't be shy when shooting pictures but you can't be a boor either. You've got to do what works best not only for you but for your subjects.

I had two choices when taking this image. I could shoot from the right side or the left. I chose the backlit side. The rim lighting on Fiona's cheek gives the image a nice sculptural quality. The soft, almost shadowless lighting on her closest cheek gives the skin a look quite in keeping with such a young child.

As a portrait, I like it. As a moment captured for the family album, it's absolutely wonderful.

You may notice that I don't make a lot of the exposure: The f/stop in use and the shutter speed setting. I don't make a big deal because it is not a big deal. Up close, with your lens zoomed out to a mild telephoto setting, you know that in such diffuse lighting the f/stop will be open to its maximum and the depth of field will be limited. That's all you've got to know. That's enough. Let the camera choose the exposure settings and free you to concentrate on capturing the best image, the best moment.

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