This is my first collaborative post as part of the Storytellers Blog Circle with a group of other Offset artists. We aim to show the background of capturing a storytelling image and explain the thought process that went into it. I always found these types of posts very insightful so make sure you’ll click through to other photographers.
My photograph for this month:
- The MOMENT and why I chose it
My youngest baby has been able to crawl and sit up for just over a month. He can now join the action of whatever his two older siblings are doing. When a small baby suddenly begins to be part of “the gang”, it is such an important milestone and an indication of many more years of play to come. I love when one frame represents a wider story. Another underlining story in this photograph is the relationship between my two sons. There are eight and a half years apart and obviously, their relationship will be different to siblings closer in age. It will be more like likely my oldest introducing his brother to all the fun in the world and protecting him. The ride on the skateboard becomes a safe way to play because the older brother is holding him. If you didn’t have an older sibling, this frame might show why you wanted one. As my baby is looking at the camera, this seems to be what he is trying to tell the viewer. I guess if he was laughing here, it would make this photo even better but I didn’t want to interfere and make him laugh. The moment remains genuine.
There is also my daughter in the background, creating another layer as the observer of the action. Initially, I considered asking her to move out of the frame (yes, I can be that cruel 😉 )but now I love how they are all part of this scene and I think I prefer to have this kind of a group “portrait” on a wall then a posed one of them smiling to the camera (which is usually a big headache to get anyway!).
- decisions about COMPOSITION and LIGHT
As the skateboard was travelling through a door frame, I decided to include the environmental framing. It helps to focus the attention on my baby and goes well with central composition. There is hopefully no doubt now who was the centre of this action 🙂 Floor boards and lines created by light create further compositional lines aiding the central composition. I also made sure that I pressed the shutter at the moment when they were passing a window on their side to have side light on my baby’s face. They were playing like this for a while so I had time to capture the right moment without even asking them to stop or slow down.
- SETTINGS and POST PROCESSING
Settings for this image: ISO 800, f 2.8, 1/640 sec, 50 mm. Choosing 2.8 aperture meant I could get all the children partially in focus but with the main focus on the baby. I needed a fast shutter speed for this action and that dictated the last choice of ISO. I metered for their skin. In Lightroom, I brought down the overall exposure of the image because of the windows in the background but I used the adjustment brush to bring it up again on the children. I also decided for B&W to eliminate any distracting colours because the frame is busy with three subjects already.
If you found it interesting to read a story behind a photograph, then please, keep going to all the other posts in our blog circle. First, go to Ashley Rogers Website to read about her photograph.