My lovely little girls seem to grow bigger (and sassier) by the second. I am an incredibly lucky father.
Behind the Scenes
First up, if you’ve been enjoying the behind the scenes stuff here lately, please leave some love below. I’d love to hear if the info has been useful to you or if something else might be more helpful. :) Thanks in advance!
Back to point… The top shot. One afternoon I noticed some very bright sunshine coming in through the window above our sink. It formed a perfect square on our white dryer (see the first couple shots below). It was like a built in softbox right in our kitchen. I asked Lottie to lay down on her side and face the dryer. I, very gracefully of course, got down on the floor too. I shot a series of frames to get the pose just right and to make sure her eyes were glowing. I do not shoot people while I’m laying on my side and they are laying on their side very often (if ever) so getting the angle and perspective just right took a few tries. Notice too how the light coming from the window gave a nice rim light on her right ear and hair. That gave the light lots of depth. Kudos to a four year old having that much patience!
The bottom shot. This was very different. I was working with a one year old who posses no patience at all. For this shot I chose a much bigger, less precise light source (the third image below). I set her down in front of our big living room window slightly turned to the side. Then, I held the camera up and started reciting some interesting historical facts to entice her to look up. That didn’t work so I made some animal noises and with one glance, made my frame. (You have to give the people what they want!) I used my Fuji X-T1 with a 35mm lens here. That enabled me to have the camera away from my face so we could make eye contact, thanks to the big bright LCD screen with live view. I also set the focus mode to face detection. With the X-T1 version 4 firmware, I’ve found this to be incredible useful, especially with little subjects that move move move. I didn’t have to mess with focus points and made the shot with the one chance I had – even wide open at 1.4.
While it’s true that getting your camera out of manual mode and learning how to adjust the settings is important, I would say it’s even more important to understand light. How it works, the different types of light, how it bounces around, etc. We all get lucky sometimes and great frames are handed to us. But, to purposely create images over and over that have depth, you have to wrap your head around light. After all, capturing light is the only thing a camera does. Haven’t we all seen amazing images created with cameras that offer little to no manual control over the settings (think cell phones)? It’s up to us as the photographer to give our cameras light with depth and meaning.
Please leave any questions or comments below and thank you very much for stopping by!!