Do you feel unmotivated to go out and photograph because you don't live near gorgeous locations? Let me tell you that you can make beautiful and memorable photos using your own front yard! I've written the first part of this topic photographing my daughter during the fall season. Check it out here!
This post is for the winter season. Enjoy!
My favorite scenery is a place with lots of greenery, bushes, willow trees, flowers, maybe a waterfall. We can't all live in such an Eden. But I can still make beautiful photos of my little girl! I just need to utilize what I have and embrace my vision as the seconds go by as my girl is running around playing. For this photo series I used the tree on the right by the neighbor's truck. For the fall season I photographed around the tree to the left of the photo.
You can get some pretty neat photos with any camera! Have a smartphone? Have at it! Me? I use my DSLR Canon Rebel T1i. I have a lovely 85mm f2.8 lens and just started playing with my brand new 50mm f1.8 STM lens. Now those two lenses would be excellent for wonderful photos of your subject, particularly children. Why? Because the shallow Fstop will make for luscious background blur and can create gorgeous bokeh! Not to mention you'll be able to stop motion better because of the light sensitivity.
NOTICE: I only edited the colors and lighting, nothing more. =) Click on the photos to see them up close.
Using my 50mm f1.8
Here is my almost 4 year old daughter running around the front yard playing in the snow. With this girl, I have to be on the move. I had my boots, snow pants and jacket on, all ready to photograph my little girl.
Since I'm new to using my 50mm f1.8 lens, I've discovered that since the depth of field can be so shallow that you have to focus on the face perfectly or it'll get out of focus and the jacket or her hat would be in focus instead. So I've been practicing on getting it right. This session resulted in a few good focused images.
This shot here is in focus. *Woohoo!* And she happens to be in front of my garage.
Not the greatest background in the world but since it's real soft, due to it being f1.8, it actually doesn't look so terrible, does it? Also, I can't get over the sun flare behind her. Love it! No I seriously did not add it to the photo! ;-)
At any location, if the sunlight is giving off flares, and the fstop is low enough and the angle I'm positioned is good enough, I'll click away. Sometimes I get surprised at what comes out just right. It surely takes lots of practice. And lots of clicking. I took over 150 shots in just about 15 minutes. =)
Time to squat!
Just in case you didn't know, it's very beneficial and more fun to photograph from a lower viewpoint. Yes I did have to squat and kneel a lot so that I'm not shooting from above. I think it makes the scene more interesting since we're used to seeing our children's heads from above. And with a low fstop lens your background will blur nicely. If you don't have a similar lens, you can still achieve similar results with what you have. A trick is to make sure you zoom in as much as you can using your current lens and make sure the background is far away. This will help blur the background.
I've mentioned about getting down to your child's level. Now let's observe the view from down below! Back in college when I was a new photo journalist, the photo editor encouraged me to capture stories from different angles such as from down below.
I love shooting from down below looking up because you get to see a whole lot more. Here, I made sure the tree was just off to the right and to have the glorious sun shining just above. I wanted to capture the sun flares which I truly believe give off a natural magic to a photo. Do you agree?
A tricky thing to note here is the risk of having tree limbs to appear to stick out of your subject's head. Those drive me crazy! Have you noticed those in any of your photos or someone else's? Good thing I know how to remove them post processing. *wink* No problem. Luckily, in this photo series, I managed to avoid that look so no photo surgery was necessary.
I hope you've enjoyed my photos of my little girl. And I hope you've been encouraged to get outside and start photographing. The more you practice the better you'll get. You'll figure out your own style of how you see things and how you see your art. You'll start to know what can happen two seconds away as your subject is running in a certain direction. You'll know exactly where to land your knees, how to angle your camera and maneuver around to get the right lighting. It's a work out, but it's also magic. It's amazing.
After you've captured your hundreds of photos, culled them to your top 25, fixed the colors and lighting, and have them ready to share on social media, please tag @katphotomagic (Facebook and Instagram!) so I can admire them! If you have 99% perfect photos but there are some details that drive you crazy, then shoot me a message and I'll check it out. I specialize in meticulous editing on complicated details. I'm here for you.
Comment below what tip(s) were helpful to you! What do you like to photograph the most? What is your go-to lens?
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January Photography Challenge!
This is my entry for the challenge at http://www.cozyclicks.com ! So excited! How did I do?
My philosophy is that photography should lighten up the heart and the eyes with vibrant color, light and majesty as memories flood back into the mind and soul. No cringing allowed. Only magic!