Thursday, May 22, 2014

365 People Photos: No. 77 ~ The Wonder of Natural Light

In my last post I mentioned that one of the important ways to improve photography is to dish your camera's flash. Make use of window light instead! The result is a soft illumination. In this photo of my granddaughter, Brielle was right up against a glass door in a church foyer in which our family was attending a wedding. I was parallel to the window as I took this photo. A special detail in this picture is her chubby little toddler hand resting on the glass. Window light ~ without harsh sunlight ~ can offer magic!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

365 People Pictures: No. 76: Seeking the Right Light

Lovely, even light is thrown on baby Evelyn's face in this photo because of a window that was just behind me, which cast soft light on her face. Natural light is a photographer's friend. When indoors, making use of window light is the secret to flattering photos. On the other hand, using the on-camera flash will produce harsh, unflattering shadows. The first step to revolutionizing your photos? Turn that flash off!

Monday, May 5, 2014

365 People Photos: No. 75 ~ Embracing the Less-Than-Perfect

Like no other time in history, much of humanity now has access to a camera. While not everyone has a DSLR, many carry a camera with them nearly all the time in the form of a cell phone. And for many people, the ability to take pictures comes with a desire to grow in skill as a photographer. I know I've been bitten by that bug. And the desire to improve as a photographer puts us at risk for being quick to delete what we consider to be less-than-perfect photos.

However, with this post, I'm here to say *HURRAH* for some of those pictures we'd quickly label imperfect. They may be the very photographs that capture some truly significant moment. Let's put our eye on the milestone marked rather than being too quick with critical self-critique.

This photo of my granddaughter is one of those imperfect treasures. I took the photo on Thanksgiving day as our entire family of 18 was gathered in a small condo on the shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. The kitchen was crowded with folks preparing the feast we would share as we thanked God for His countless mercies in our lives. While all the hubbub was going on, 17-month-old Brielle, who was still a full-time crawler, raised herself to an unaided standing position in the midst of the chaos. Our nine-year-old Eliana called attention to the feat, and we all gleefully clapped for our little champion. Brielle who was, of course, delighted with our accolades, then repeated the stunt a number of times, each time to our happy cheers. In fact, she would rise up into her pyramid-shaped stance and clap along as we clapped.

For me, this photo reminds me of that important developmental step for Brielle. The picture also brings to mind the beauty of being a family that encourages and supports one another. Isn't that really the most important role family members can play in each other's lives?

All of this is captured in a photo that will never win an award. While the quality of the photograph is low, but the quality of the memories it holds and sentiments it carries is sky-high. So, as photographers, let's not be too quick to hit the delete button as we evaluate our work. Treasures can be quite imperfect!