Short days with lovely golden sunlight is the only reason I love the fall. Problem with working inside all day is that you do not get a chance to capture those lovely rays when they are looking their best. Instead you grab your camera and shoot a bit while your child is playing baseball…and that gives you twelve minutes of light from 5:45PM to 5:57PM!
Some of my favorite colors are popping now the reds and yellows. Here are some reds trying to peek out of the shadows at the boys playing ball…and the yellows…well those are for another day!
There comes a time when you have to put the camera down and be part of the story. I really want to capture my children’s growth and make it art. However after being with Kalen for the last four months while he worked on his Wolf badge for Cub Scouts, there was no way I could be outside of this moment in his life.
I put the camera on a monopod, program mode and handed it to another nice dad as I walked away. It was a hard thing to hand over my camera and join the event, but the result was a tremendous capture. Kalen and a proud Dad in the shadows. It is a photo story that I am finally part of. It is a moment I do not want to forget.
At the risk of sounding a little too “Oprahish” when you capture photos try to capture a moment with life in it. Studio shots have their place, but if you want to remember the fun or life enriching moment you have to catch an element of that in the photo!
In each of these photos I tried to do just that.
I tried to use a little inherent distortion of the wide angle in the big sphere rock folder to bring some focus back to the boys and girls getting wet pushing that rock around. The shutter speed allows movement to be felt, but captures the frozen focus around the rock of the boys and girls.
You can see the squirt of the water going by Kalen’s face…even though he never got wet it certainly appeared that way. He was laughing when he tried to reach out to the water, and seeing the photo he laughed the same way because it was actually the effect he sought.
In the photo of the boys, Kevin (the little guy) would not stand still. So Kalen froze him for the photo. It captures the smiles of two best friends. The post editing I did lightened up the shadows and smoothed the features a bit to enhance the nostalgia of the photo.
The last two were at today’s ballgame. The first shows Kalen intensely throwing the ball back to the picture. He wants to own that plate the best he can. The second shows that even though brother likes baseball, the gravel is so much more fun to play with!
I hope I am illustrating the point well enough here. In the film based past we needed to take a lot of care with our shots. Each one cost 25 cents to process. So you made them count by lining up the actors. Today take a chance, take a shot if you see elements converging. Something will pop and you’ll have a fitting memory preserved.
One technique I have to master is making photographs direct you to a point. I am going to use two photos to illustrate this.
In the first, the architecture and the colors of the beams all bring your eye to the top of the photo. As your eye moves, I hope it takes in all the elements of the photo, beams, color and complimentary circular and triangular shapes. This was nice to shoot because everything was stationary. I could take my time to compose and shoot.
In the second photo I use three people all doing things to draw you to the “point.” The one boy needing his gear put on, and needing help with the shin guards forms the base. Kalen and a coach rush to help him get into the field so we don’t delay the game. Both Kalen’s eyes and the coaches are focused on the shin guard to bring our entire focus to the problem and its collaborative solution. The whole photo jelled itself in a matter of seconds. I was lucky to recognize it, frame it, reset the aperture and click in time to catch it.
Photography is fun, but it is also story telling. Some stories stand still, and others move. The best photos will convey the story quickly and efficiently. If a photo leaves you hanging for an answer, you will probably scratch your head an move right along. Our objective is to not let that happen!
I hope this helps you see one way to make a story come to life!