My last post described a moment that left me wondering if I really should bother at all with this little endeavor known as photography. After all, I’m celebrating the end of my third year with my first dSLR this very month and yet I still manage to screw things up royally all the time.
Regardless, there are moments, few but they exist, where I feel like I have gotten things right. Maybe even a bit more than right: really great. This for example strikes me as one of those really great moments:
My lovely little niece Clarissa (aka Claire Bear), one of a set of triplets belonging to my sister, playing at some playground at some park not too far from my sister’s house outside St. Augustine, Florida. It’s a picture with which I was quite happy. I felt it framed-up well and the amount of fill-flash I threw at it really helped make her pop a bit, without being too-flashy.
And while I typically eschew fooling around with my pictures and ‘doing things’ to them I got a bit creative with this one and made it even better. Or so I think.
Not too shabby, or so I think.
Actually, the pictures I took on this trip in late October were, on the whole, very good. I will concede there were enough to hit the cutting room floor, so to speak, but in general I had far more keepers than I had expected. And to be frank this was no small feat considering I was mostly shooting small, constantly moving targets, consisting of two boys and girl, all 20-months old.
In addition, lighting conditions often dictated the need for flash, but I refused to just through the camera into Program mode and let it do all the work. Instead I elected to shoot as I most usually do, in Aperture priority, and use my flash for fill purposes. This usually entailed taking a picture or two so that I could dial-in the correct amount of flash (or should I say “the amount of flash I found appropriate”), but once that was accomplished I was off and running.
I endeavored to remember all the basics about shooting little kids: get on their level, try and capture candid moments as well as posed ones, move quickly to keep up with them, etc. No doubt I must have looked the fool some days, running around trying to keep up with these three knee-biters. Of course one morning when visiting the very park in which the above picture was taken, I would very much have liked to spend an awful lot of time photographing one of other mothers. Wow.
When I returned home and had the pictures up on the computer I was surprised at how many keepers I had and how much I really had enjoyed taking all these pictures.
But something did bother me a bit during this trip. I regularly felt the adults would rather I not be sticking my camera into everything and snapping photos here and there as it were. Usually I think the objection was more to having their own picture taken than anything else, but I really don’t understand why it’s such a problem for folks.
If I take a bad picture of you I’m not going to keep it. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad because they look bad (bad hair, eyes closed, whatever, etc.) or because the image is technically bad. It’s a tosser regardless. Perhaps it’s just the sentimentalist in me, but I’ve always enjoyed recording moments in life.
During my 20’s, when I led a rather wild life, I was the only one in my group who had a camera and while I wasn’t snapping pictures every weekend I could be counted on to have one around often enough. As such I have a nice collection of photographs capturing some truly wonderful times in my life, while many of those very same friends have nothing, but the vague memories. If that because there certainly was a lot of alcohol involved and we all know what that does to memories.
This aversion to having ones picture taken is best exemplified by my very own family. Neither my wife nor daughter want their picture taken. Ever. Under any circumstances. My wife didn’t used to shy away from such, but as we grew older together she became less and less willing to have her picture taken. And the daughter? Short of those pictures taken at school she damn near pitches what might best be described as a hissy fit if I try to take her picture.
However, and in fairness to the daughter, she has deigned on occasion to allow me to photograph her and cooperated as my model one afternoon from which I got some awesome pictures of her. But that was the first and LAST time that would happen.
The end result: there are no family type pictures of myself, my wife and my daughter from the past five or six years. Maybe even longer. This saddens me to no end, but I suppose I shouldn’t be completely surprised considering the type of people they have grown into over the past few years. But that’s a story for my counselor.