Joshua in the garden

Hello there, David here from

Just a quickie today. Over the past few weeks I have been talking to a lot of other photogs (photographers), reading other photogs blogs and following tutorials on professional photographer websites such as Digital Wedding Forum.

A couple of my favorites are

Cory Ann Ellis Brookings SD USA website

Jessica Claire southern California USA website

Kelly Munce Australia website

Rob Heyman Australia Website (my favorite portrait photog)

I am particularly talking about portraits here and mainly kids portraits.

One of the things I have learned over the past couple of weeks is a technique where you use a wide or ultra wide angle lens and get right up close with the subject (in this case Joshua) Typically this goes against the grain of what you generally do.

As always, the best way to get kids portraits is by being at there level (not in this pic but there is a reason why) Normally when parents take photos they always do it from a standing up position or kneeling but again way above the subject. Try to get yourself at your kids eye height unless there is a reason why not.

In this photo 1 of 7 I took, Joshua is in the garden, its about 20 minutes before sunset and he is in the shade. I knew (just habit) that I would be shooing at ISO400 so between when I went to grab a camera and take the photo I put the camera on that. The reason Josh was out there was Nikki was bringing in the washing from the line, she had taken Josh out there with NO intention of a photo. I had been working outside and decided I needed a break so seeing him there, thought what a great time to practice the new technique I had been reading about.

I took the camer, put it into program mode (fully auto) put the metering on center spot (not little spot and not full screen metering) and pointed it at the grass just to the right of Joshua, I filled the screen and looked at the readings – 80th sec / F5.6. These were the settings I then programmed in Manual mode (I like to shoot in manual mode as the exposure does not change or get influenced by the colour of clothes, backgrounds etc) Grass is always a good place to take a meter reading from, especially if it has the same lighting as the subject.

So armed with my camera in Manual 80/5.6 I opened up the zoom (Nikon 24-70mm) all the way to 24mm and then snapped a couple of shots to test it out – Why I like this way of shooting is the subject fills the screen and the wide angle lens makes the background appear to be way off in the distance, telephoto or longer length lenses shorten the distance between the background and the subject.

After I liked what I say (it was only a test) I got up and then Josh started reaching for the lens – thats when I snapped another 5 shots – Not looking through the viewfinder (something I do very often – read other posts on this) and this is the shot I liked.


Sorry about the bib its something I was TOLD to buy by Nikki when I was over in the States – normally it would not have been on him for a portrait shot !

Hope you like, try it for yourself, take your meter readings off the grass, set your camera to manual and blast away.

Happy Snapping,

thanks for stopping by,


David Purslow –

gurlywundaApril 19, 2008 - 12:08 pm

Do not blame the bib on me! I wouldn’t have known anything about it if you hadn’t told me! hehe

Your email is never published or shared.