Sunday, March 28, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
I shoot almost exclusively with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/1.4 (Canon 24L/35L/85L). I generally use f/1.4 for two reasons: 1. In low light when I do not want to use flash. 2. To isolate my subject from a distracting background.
f/1.4 IN LOW LIGHT: I shoot in low light A LOT...like MOST OF THE TIME (my house is small and dark)! So for me, lenses with an f/1.4 opening is almost necessary. Shooting available light allows me I to capture the mood of a situation by shooting with the existing light of the scene. Often times, the result is how the scene actually looked.
There was very little light in this scene...in fact, it was just a small sliver of light that was peering through the curtains. I metered for that light and exposed at 1/50th, f/1.4, ISO1600. 35L.
Lit by one single overhead bulb. My youngest 'reading' before bedtime. Exposure was 1/40th, f/1.4, ISO 1600. 35L
Only light in the room was the TV. I wanted a slower shutter speed on this one to capture the motion of the Wii play. Exposure was 1/40th, f/2, ISO3200. 24L
Early morning light coming through my front window. Exposure was 1/125th, f/1.4, ISO1600. 35L
Only light source was the overhead light in the bunk bed. VERY dark. Exposure was 1/80th, f/1.6, ISO3200. 24L
f/1.4 TO ISOLATE: Sometimes the background is UGLY! Using a lens that opens to f/1.4 can help!
I wasnt a fan of all of the trees in the background of this one, so I opened my aperture in order to isolate the subjects. Exposure was 1/500th, f/2, ISO800. 35L
Loved the halloween outfit, so I wanted to show it off a bit! Exposure was 1/100th, f/1.4, ISO800. 35L
Busy background :( Exposure was 1/4000th, f/2, ISO200. 35L
Lenses with a maximum aperture can be expensive, BUT they do not have to be! Most camera manufacturers make 50mm options with a f/1.4 opening that are affordable. Also, check out the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens.
Thanks all for checking in!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Quick side note: This tip may not be easy to apply on day trips such as the zoo, museums, etc. But there may be times where your child/children interact with a specific toy/animal/exhibit long enough for you to work the composition.
It's not about machine gunning your way to a moment--taking 30 or 40 shots at once, hoping to get just one that's decent. Once you're in position, observe your children and the action taking place. Try to anticipate when someone might laugh or smile or do something interesting. Be ready and then get the shot. It takes discipline not to click the shutter 50 times hoping for that moment. Try to trust yourself and you will begin to develop greater discipline and intuition (anticipate moments). Here is a series of seemingly similar shots. I found a composition of my son playing in his room which I liked. I wanted to capture his interactions with the toy. Here is a sample of what I chose to shoot and the type of moments I was looking for. They were taken over a period of around 10 minutes (1ds2, 35L, iso 3200, 1/60, f/2.2)
I enjoy these shots for different reasons, in part because there's a subtle range of expressions and action and they're all genuinely Isaac.
Here's a second, shorter series of my older son just messing around while watching tv (1ds2, 35L, iso 1600, 1/80, f/2.8).
Thanks for stopping by.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
We are very grateful to have the ridiculously talented image maker/story teller, Sam Hassas, guest blog this week on The Family Photojournalist. As we have mentioned before, effective family photojournalism documents moments (even the ones that hurt) as they happen. Sam's entry below is one of the best examples I have seen in this category.
I strongly urge you to check out his website...but be sure carve out an hour of time before you do so....yes, his photographs are that good! Sam Hassas Website
THE BROKEN ARM, BY SAM HASSAS
While on a shoot during the summer last year, I get the call all parents fear. "Your son's been hurt, he's broken his arm."
I've never had to cancel a shoot while in mid action but that day I did. I bag all my gear, toss it in the trunk and head down to the emergency ward at Good Samaritan in San Jose. It's about a 30-minute drive and these are my thoughts. I've never been the type of photographer to carry my gear with me everywhere I go. Vacations, Holidays and work is about all. Today was different. Against my natural feelings of leaving my camera in the bag, I brought it with me. Now, looking back over these images 2 dozen times the past 8 months, I have never doubted in my choice to document since.
I arrive to a worried mother and an ambulant son. Up till now, he has been given no meditation. He's scared. In pain? I'm not sure. Perhaps the adrenaline rush is coving the pain. Ex-rays are taken...we sit and wait.
Greeted by a doctor, he informs us that Ethan has a compound fracture. The bone was completely broken and was protruding through the flesh. He speaks in high valuating doctor gibberish for about 5 minutes. We understand the procedures needed only slightly. My son understands nothing. The doctor walks out and begins preparations.
Ethan has a nervous look on his face and feels the inevitable.
"daddy, what happen to my arm?"
"you broke it bubba"
broken voice "can you fix it?"
I wiped lots of tears while looking through the lens, almost to the point of setting the camera down. Here’s Ethan's story:
This is the scene I walked in on.
my mommy, my lizard
Post surgery. He see’s light at the end of the tunnel and his first smile appears.
This shot is very special to my wife and I. 4 years ago she was wheeled out of this same hospital door with a brand new Ethan to introduce to the world.
the next day while we are at home. The fan fair is over and the trail towards healing is paved…..not without it’s pain however
the “good” arm
The only shot I chose to show in color. It seemed fitting.