Saturday, December 6, 2014

Capture emotion

I shoot with a point and shoot: a Canon PowerShot S90. When set to take small-file-size images, it can crank off quite a fast burst of shots. This is great for capturing moments like this one. Isla is excited to be doing a puzzle all by herself.

At moments like this, don't intrude. Don't interfere. Don't tell the child, "Say cheese." Just find the best angle, watch how the light plays on the child's face, aim and wait. The moment will come and you will be ready.

Note: the background was terribly sharp in the original file. I softened the background in Photoshop to imitate the look I would have achieved with a high end DSLR. My job isn't perfect. The softening was done quickly and without a lot of craft. I am not out to trick anyone. I don't mind leaving an artifact or two. It is honest dishonesty.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Don't ignore window light

Babies are beautiful, especially Seth, and granddad's are proud. A picture is a must. When grabbing such important photos, don't ignore the lighting. A window can be invaluable in such a situation.

I had granddad hold the newborn near the hospital room window. The soft light was perfect. Far better than using the on-camera flash. Remember to steady the camera by resting your hands on some sturdy. Hospital room offer lots of choices and most are on wheels. Ideal.

A picture of granddad with Seth was a little harder. Unless I moved the chair completely around, the little guy was going to be lit by room light. I made sure the glow was warm, green florescent tubes are not acceptable. Satisfied with the colour of the light, I went with the flow.

Once the colour temperature is acceptable, direct your attention to the pose and the background. Try to avoid an all too busy background. I put the background out-of-focus in Photoshop and not in my camera. My point-and-shoot simply cannot do it.

I don't mind folk looking at the camera. I find it an honest admission that a picture is being taken. It this bothers you, don't do it. Ask granddad, or whomever, to look down at the baby. This should have the extra benefit of resulting in a natural, pleasant expression on granddad's face. Again, keep that camera steady.