Hand in the Candy Bucket

I’ll confess this little one is a sweetheart, and I’m partial to her since her parents are good friends of ours.  However I think those eyes make the shot, and capture your heart.  Her eyes will captivate you in person, and I hope I put such a feeling in this photo.

To accomplish this little shot I was playing with my favorite little lens, the Fujinon 23mm F1.4.  In this photo I experimented with an extremely shallow depth of field, opening the aperture all the way just to see what it will do.  Because I was using a mirrorless camera, my Fuji XE-1, I was able to see the DOF in the screen as I composed the image in real time.

I know some purists out there will be screaming that professionals use a viewfinder, and that I am violating some law of photography since I did not have my eye up to the viewfinder.  Heck I might as well have used a cell phone right?  Well probably yes and definitely no.

See part of the reason I switched from traditional DSLRs to this mirrorless design was I got comfortable keeping eye contact with my subjects during composition.  An instructor told us how vital was, and at first I was like yah right…but then I tried it.  Eye contact helped me take a great group photo of 64 VIPs.   Why?  Because by looking at my subjects I kept control over them.  It then helped me take individual subjects mind off the camera and kept it focused on our conversation.  With younger kids it became much less about the camera, and more about the game we were playing.  I found more candid moments caught, and fewer cheesy smiles that look like the child in under duress.

Well…the journey is still moving forward as I learn more about my little craft…and I hope to share more of these lessons as I go forward with you!





Spot On

Basking in the light

Basking in the light

My little girl Kellie her was reading like her big sister bookworm, and I just had to capture the smile…so I did.

Now in this little photo I found myself able to teach myself the value of a feature, and to remember an RC (as in Raphael Conception) rule.

I knew the had a high contrast scene, and to use the zone metering would make everything 18% grey  (aka blah).  So for this photo I slipped into spot metering (my spot metering is aligned with my focus point).  This means my focus point will be exposed properly, and everything else will be exposed relative to that value.  As a result you get all the blown highlights above my daughter, but I accepted that since I wanted it to be light and airy.  Had I used zone metering the camera would attempt to meter different segments of the photo to have as much properly exposed as possible.  Normally that is great, but it would take the pop out of this photo and make it flat.  So my desired light and airy feel would be gone.

The other rule, RC’s rule for kids, is in full force here.  I had to take three photos with Mr Fuji to get the combination of smile, head tilt and light I wanted in the final product.  RC is right that you can get good photos of kids…you just need to take lots of photos to get the one worth keeping.  I can say for sure this is not luck, it is perseverance.  (RC is often on the video blog Photography Tips and Ticks, Kelby One and his website www.aboutrc.com)

Just one point here about how lucky I’ve been so far in my short photography career.  Even though I’m just a little guy, sold only a few photos, have so much to learn…I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the nicest people in the business.  I’ve met and briefly worked with big industry names like Skip Cohen, Michele Celentano, Bob Coates, Scott Bourne, RC, Bill Fortney, Jim Begley and they all gave me the time of day deep respect as a person.  I’ve also met great photographers I count as friends like Adrian Ciolacu, Fran Ruchalski, Bret Watkins and many others who inspire me and helped me with things like finding a good print shop.  I actually I hope I don’t insult anyone who I run out of space to mention….

I think the thing that makes them so special is that they know how to approach a crowd with multi zone metering…and when given the chance to meet you one on one switch to spot metering.  As a result they speak to you, treat you well and make you want to take care of them as they do to you.

So look them up, and enjoy their work.  I’ll try to get a link in to each over the next few weeks so you can see the wide range of talents that inspire me…and maybe you too!


Inspired work on the way!

Inspired work on the way!