Monday, May 21, 2012

Better late than never!

So my son Dean turned 18 months old recently. Where has the time gone? Who knows but half my brain was lost when I was functioning on very little sleep so you'll have to forgive my laziness because I did not do 18 month portraits. I keep thinking "ugh it is such a pain to photograph Dean" and then I forget. HOWEVER I had the brilliant idea to photograph him when he is strapped in his highchair. HooWAH! I rigged up a little tablecloth background and came up with these pictures. It was one of my more successful shoots with Dean, I think. Will experiement more next time - I was just happy to have some smiles. So without further ado.... PS - this is totally off topic, but we gave up the binky and it wasn't that bad. I think I might have missed it more than Dean did.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Framing, Lines, Patterns and Texture

 I haven't been posting in my blog!  I know I've never been the most consistent or best blogger on the planet, but I have a reason this time!  I received some feedback from my students last semester that they would really like me to do the photo assignments that I assign with them.  Although that means more work for me as a teacher, I thought that was a good idea to hone my skills and to model the assignments and to improve as a photographer and to teach how to critique.  So!  I just posted this to my class photo blog so I thought I would post it here too!

The photo assignment this week is to "spend some time photographing framing, lines, pattern and texture. There will be 8 pictures total, 2 of each of the concepts listed. Make sure to label which image is demonstrating what concept, and post about WHY that image is a good example of that concept."

I brainstormed this week what I could go out and take pictures of to get some really good examples of these concepts. My son turned 18 months aka a year and a half this week so I thought it would be nice to take some pictures of him. However, taking pictures of my son is like trying to nail jello to a tree. He won't look at the camera, he won't smile, and in fact he tries to run away from me when the camera is out! Luckily he's cute so he makes up for it.

I decided that instead of putting him in a cute outfit and placing him in front of a background wouldn't work because 1) he would run away from the cute background and 2) I wouldn't be able to get pictures with framing, lines, pattern and texture in them. So instead I decided to take him to a park in Spanish Fork where there would be lots of great examples of these elements, plus I could just let my son do whatever he wanted.

 Framing --- I think these 2 are my best examples of framing because the main subject is "framed" by the elements around him.  My eye is drawn into Dean in both of these shots because of the way the elements are positioned.


Lines --- I had lots of examples of good lines in photos.  More lines that pattern and texture.  I liked this one below because it had lots of different lines in it that I thought made up an interesting composition.  The one of Dean on the stairs has a few different lines in it, but I liked that the line on the stairs pointed to where he was crouching and it drew my eye in.



Pattern - A few times I was pointing my camera through these little grates on the playground and I thought the pattern on this one made an interesting "parent" perspective because this is always what I see when my son is playing on the playground.  The one below belongs to a chain on the swingset which I thought made a really unique pattern.  I did a dark exposure to make it look a little ominous.



Texture - I saw these woodchips and immediately thought they would make a great texture shot, but couldn't figure out how to shoot them without being bland and boring.  Then I saw Dean's shadow from the swingset and thought it would be a great way to showcase the texture of the woodchips.  I feel like the simplicity of this image makes it more striking.  The texture on the giant plastic bubble below is cool too - I thought it would be fun to put my camera in it and use it as a fake lens.



Taking pictures on the swings was hard for me! I need to practice my action shots more. I was having a hard time getting a picture of my son in focus. I have lots and lots of pictures that are out of focus. Here is the only in focus picture I have of Dean the whole day where he is smiling on the swings. And he isn't looking at the camera AND my sister's arm is merging into the back of his head. How's that for breaking the rules of composition? Under that there is a cute one where he is out of focus.



What do you think?  What did I do well?  What should I try so that I can do better next time?  I think one thing I struggled with on this shoot was that I kept going into the sun and then going back into the shade, so changing my settings every time Dean decided he wanted to go somewhere else was a pain.