Hello there, David here from www.davidpurslow.com
Well its been a quiet week (thats about to change as I am shooting a wedding tomorrow)
For the last week, Nikki, Joshua and I have been away on holiday. Little did I know that we were going to Ibiza, Nikki’s mum and dad had given us a holiday for our Christmas present (not that I knew anything about it) Due to weddings taking most of the summer up, we try to get away just before the wedding season gets into full swing. So the plan (as far as I knew) was a week with Nikki’s parents away and a day or two popping over to France. When we got to the Midlands I found out we where really going to Ibiza !
Worried that I had a wedding on Saturday they had made it that we went Thursday to Thursday so we had a 48 hour window if things went wrong with the flights !
Anyway enough about that, This was Joshua’s first holiday away, since as I thought we were just staying here all I took along with me was my point and shoot digital camera and Nikki had her’s also. My point and shoot is a Canon G9 camera which I had not really played with before this other than using it in fully auto mode. Nikki’s camera is a Canon IXY 900 IS. The first day we got there, guess what – Yep it was raining so I spent about 1/2 the day learning how to get the most out of my camera. Before I started this was taken in fully auto mode and auto ISO mode using the G9
By the time I had finished playing with the settings and learning how to use the camera (one of the biggest benefits of digital is being able to change a setting, take a picture and review it instantly to learn what does what) – I ended up with this
The difference should be a much warmer image with contrast and a little ‘pop’ to the skin. Basically what I did is set the camera to Program mode (semi automatic on the G9) and let it choose the shutter speed / aperture setting however I selected 400 ISO and dialed in Fill Flash here on this image at -1 1/3 stops under the cameras meter reading. This made JD pop a little and helped seperate him from the background.
The following day the weather had improved and we took JD down the beach for his first time by the seaside. What neither of us knew at time is that the seaside visit would only last about 20 minutes as Joshua tried to eat all the sand he could find and there was lots of it around, and following that he wanted to rub it all into his eyes. I guess kids will be kids ! – anyway, I as determined to get some shots of him on the beach so had Nikki clean him up as best we could and took a few pictures. The first photo here is Joshua’s first few seconds on the beach before he tried to eat it all.
This image was taken with Nikki’s 900IS – I used the camera Manual Mode, picked ISO200 due to the light and wanting to maintain a faster shutter speed but knowing I wanted to add fill flash, and fired the fill flash at 0.0 or at camera reading settings. I used the evaluated meter setting. The MOST IMPORTANT thing here is the fact I forced the flash to fire – without that the shadows on his face and the contrast would have been very strong. I also did one of my magic little tricks, I held one of the lenses of my sun glasses over the lens. I have polorized glasses and on point and shoot cameras with the little lenses they have if your taking a photo out in the sun, its really worth while trying putting your glasses directly over the lens, it cuts out the glare fantastically.
Then after the cleanup, I wanted to get good fun portrait type pic, something that would look nice on my office desk so we popped JD onto one of the sunbeds and again using Nikki’s 900IS I took this picture. All of these photos by the way are pretty much as shot, un-cropped (with the smaller point and shoot cameras I take more time to crop as close in camera as I can to the size I want the finished photo as there is not as much image data to mess around with) Joshua is not camera shy as you can see and loves to play with them or he would if I let him. He always makes a beeline for the cameras when I have them out so I knew I would have to be quick. I set up the shot without JD on the chair, fixed my focus point and then had Nikki place him at the far end of the bed, a simple “Joshua” was all I needed and CHARGE – he came a running as they say. The settings on this were the same as before, this time I used the fill flash to take out the shadows what would have been cast on his face by having the sun above and behind him. Had I not used the flash, not only would he have been a little “Muddy” as we like to say but he would have also had a greenish cast from the reflection from the bed.
In the next shot this is back with my G9, it was taken around 2pm ish as the sun was high and directly on our belcony. I popped the Fill flash again this time at -2/3rds as I wanted a little shadow detail. As you can see if you look closely he had just finished his dinner and had most of it around his face when I took this one. Nikki was tutting me saying I should have cleaned him up first ! – G9, ISO200 Program, Fill -2/3rds
In the next shot, I again had an idea in mind for the photos I wanted. My mum has been after a new photo of JD for a while, Nikki had Packed an outfit my mum had got him so we decided to shoot this for her. The resort has a fantastic pier that looks across the bay and I wanted to get a shot of Joshua on the end of the Pier with the hotel (not ours) in the background. Since Joshua can scoot quicker than a bunny rabbit, Nikki was not too happy to plonk JD on the end and have him just pose for daddy. So I laid down on the edge of the pier and set the scene again in the camera, then I had Nikki slowly walk towards the edge of the pier until she came into shot. This was her POUNCE ZONE – she could stand there ready to pounce if JD decided to take a jump off – we were about 5 – 6 feet above the water at this point ! The idea behind the shot was to have my mum go OH MY GOD, you didnt have him sit all the way on the end of……….. You get the idea……. Here is the result. G9, ISO 200, Apeture Priority, F5.6 fill flash -2 (the sun was low coming from camera right) .
(notice how the shadow from his nose if very soft – thats the fill flash)
The next shot was me trying to see if I could get shots like the ones I had been practicing with my proper cameras with over the past few weeks or so. In the shot below I could not see the image before I took it as I as holding the camera down low to get a eye level shot of Joshua, this was not set up but he was having a great time by the pool and looked so happy I had to snap it quickly. Again on the G9 – Program mode with fill dialed down 2/3rd of a stop – I would have liked to have it about 1 1/2 stops or even 2 stops as I think there is too much light on his face and would have liked a little shadow from the hat but thats what happens when you reaction shoot rather than setting up the image first.
In the final shot, well its just a little boy having fun on holiday. A great album photo imho.
Well I hope you like these, I hope you found some of the tips useful. I think it goes to show that with a little practice and using a few simple tricks of the trade that point and shoot cameras can produce some really good results.
Special thanks to Mum and Dad S for the holiday, we will make sure you get a whole host of photos !