Monday, November 1, 2010

That Which Causes Photographer Chagrin

I am so happy to hear that the parent of this child loved the photo.

But here's the thing. The story of how I captured this image is kind of a long one. First, I went to the trouble of dragging this woman and her child outside our office for better light. I asked his mom to put the child on the ground (rather than on her lap or something).

I knew I'd want a shallow depth of field, so I started shooting in aperture priority mode.

I got down on the ground. Flat on my back. I lifted my 12-pound camera with one hand, and shot dozens of photos. I made funny noises. I encouraged the mom to dangle some keys behind me.

I got a massive cramp in my stomach from the awkwardness of my body position. I kept shooting.

I wriggled forward, on my back, while taking more photos, watching the light, focusing and re-focusing, recomposing over and over again.

Later, I reviewed all the photos, and picked the one I thought was best. I worked on the image for an hour. I tweaked the exposure. I worked and reworked the eyes to make them pop. I selectively augmented the color in the child's costume. I cloned out tiny bits of lint on the costume. I resized and sharpened.

I've gone through this process often in the past. Time and time again, upon seeing a photo like the one above, someone will say, "Wow, you must have a great camera."

That would be the chagrin-causing part, by the way.


-K- said...

A 12 pound camera? Wow - you must have huge forearms.

But more to the point, very nicely done.

Jonderson said...

Heh...I think it must be a long time since you fired the 9mm. Your wrists are out of shape if you think your camera weighs 12 pounds! :)

Next time you do a setup like that, and you want a little slice of Jonderson's world, try it with fire ants all over you. Good times!