Joahua on the swing……….

Hi there,

I have to pop over to New Jersey USA for 8 days, so no news posts for the next week or so. Since today was Mothers day I asked Nikki what she would like, a new photo of Joshua was the reply.

Since I will my my honey and my boy while I am away, I thought why not ?

We went to Scolton Manor just outside of Haverfordwest on the Cardigan Road.

Nikki had gone there for the first time yesterday with Gail one of her “Boobie Group” mommy friends and it was Joshua’s first experience of sitting in a swing, and guess what – HE LOVED IT!

Shooting photos like these is pretty simple, you only need 4 things.

1. A baby or toddler
2. A park or nice setting
3 An overcast day – created nice LARGE LIGHT SOURCE – more about this later
4 A camera

Thats it, it really is that simple.

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In the shot above, it may look like JD (Joshua David) is not swinging but this was taken during mid swing. What I did was choose a focus point, manually focused on that point and then every time JD came into the area I had Pre-Focused on, snapped a photo. I took about 15 shots in total to get this one, I actually got about 5 or 6 I really liked, but this is one of my favorites.

Here are a few more from the swing – another great tip here is to shoot from a kids point of view not from an adults – what that means is I positioned myself at about the same hight as JD when the swing was at its mid or resting point. That way you are not looking down on the subject, the most common mistake people make when shooting kids.

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LIGHTING

Earlier I said I used a large light source, this is what I was talking about. The way to think of light is to actually think about shadows. Unless your actually looking for very high contrasts in your images or are shooting something you want strong direct light, the “Flatter” or “broader” the light source the better. If you think about a bright sunny day with no clouds this would actually be a very small light source think of a pin prick of light, with nothing to soften or make it spread out (flatten or broaden) the light you get strong shadows and people have to squint etc. On an overcast day clouds smooth out the suns light to create an even, shadowless source of light, hence the whole sky become your light source or become a large light source. This is why fashion photographers mainly use big soft boxes, its like having your own clouds in a box to control and soften the light.

If Today had been a sunny day I would have taken a big white umbrella or a big reflector to hold over JD and put him into shadow – more on that in another post. I could have also shot him under a tree canopy that dappled the sunlight or….Yes your guessed it “softened it”

Just before the last few pics, let me just say this, if you notice all of these photos are what photographers call “Portrait” – We either talk in terms of “Portrait” or “View / Landscape”. One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see people make with there point and shoot camera’s is that they ALWAYS hold it so as to take a “View” or “landscape” image – If I had done this with these, there would have been so much wasted space around JD that he would be really small in the frame. Try turning your camera 90 Degrees and take photos upright of subjects that are upright – they look much better.

So you now know all you need to shoot shots like these – ooops I forgot.

I set the camera totally manually for these photo’s what that means is that I set the Fstop and the shutter speed and the ISO myself. I dont generally carry a light meter with me unless I am working in the studio or at a wedding so what I did was take a meter reading off the grass. The grass is generally a really good thing to meter off as its about a MID tone – more in another post about this later. I knew I wanted to shoot at F5.6 so put my camera into Aperture Priority, Centre weightted Metering and pointed it at the ground – the reading was 320/s at ISO400. I wanted to get a 500th/s so when up to ISO 640 to get the setting I wanted. I took a couple of test shots and looked at the Histogram and liked what I saw – NEVER trust 100 % just looking at the picture on your screen if you have a histogram – check it.

That was it, it was bang on the money, all the shots above and below were shot using

ISO 640
Manual Exposure
500th/Second @ F5.6

Happy shooting, hope this helps,

Here are the rest of the photos from today.

dp.

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jvaughanMarch 14, 2008 - 3:47 am

David,
Joshua is such a cute Kid…he is precious.

See you guys soon,
John

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