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Image of the Month



March 2013


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After all the wildlife images from the first two months of this year, I thought that I should show you something else this month.  Still a bit on the wild side however ..

I got out my studio flash lights, portable backgrounds and flash triggers and tried to remember how to use everything to take pictures of Alex and Harry.  

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I probably should have done my little revision course with subjects that were a bit more cooperative.  These two were a joyful, wriggling, uncooperative, deliciously frustrating nightmare.  

The aim was to get a few images of each child and then a few of the boys together but of course, children run out of enthusiasm and concentration long before photographers have got the perfect image.

It was really a question of bribing or cajoling one of them to perform for about a minute and then swapping over to the other for another minute.  The art is in waiting for the child to adopt the perfect expression - and of course this is usually after you have pressed the shutter button and before the lights have had a chance to recycle. Yes, I know my lovely Flash Centre friends will say that I should buy a faster lighting system but I have other things that I need to spend money on!

I like eyes too so I always try to ensure that the camera is focussed on the eyes and I wait for a catch light or design lighting that puts one in.  Catchlights make eyes come alive.

Fancy dressing up outfits or busy, stripy colorful jumpers are all very well, but for my taste they are a bit distracting if you want to focus on a portrait of the child.  However, Superman took a bit of persuading into a plain blue top and actually, I quite like this shot.

Blonde hair is quite difficult to light well too.  It absorbs quite a lot of light and it’s very easy to over light the hair so that it no longer looks like hair or to use too little flash light and end up with unrecognisably dark hair and faces.

So having got a couple of nice shots of each boy on his own, I attempted to get the brothers together.  Hard work!  If one co-operated, the other wouldn’t and vice versa.  However, there were a couple of brief seconds when it all came together.

I tried a couple of images with a black velvet background ... I’m not sure whether it makes the children look a bit older than they are.  I’d love to know what you think or whether you prefer the whites and greys.

If you want to see more of my portrait work and with more cooperative subjects, please browse around my portrait gallery.   Thanks for looking!  Cup of tea now.... phew....