NZPhotographer Issue 24, October 2019

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CHILD ONE

CHILD TWO

CHILD THREE

F5.6 1/30s, FP3 film 125 F4 1/30 FP3 film 125

F5.6 1/60s, FP3 film 125

relaxed and happy, being patient but also telling the

photographer to ‘Get on with it’?!

The above three photographs are typical of

children early evening prior to bedtime. During this

time families take time out to connect with their

children, with a story, or other quiet activity. As a

photographer, it is time to seize an opportunity to

portray another aspect about a child. It may seem

like making a record, but in reality it can be very

special.

When I photographed these children they were

relaxed, quiet and, posed naturally. Any attempt to

pose them could have distracted them from being

themselves. As photographers, we are setting out to

capture that something special about the person,

and while the use of unusual items to adorn the child

happens, it could be seen as missing out on the real

person.

The ‘child one’ photograph was captured using

natural light from a window. Look at the eyes and

the white dot in each eye. This adds a sparkle and

helps lighten up the face when set against a darker

background. Eyes of people often show emotions

and feelings which is exciting to portray.

The ‘child two’ photograph was captured using

natural light as the child sat casually with her special

teddy. It was her moment of quiet before bed. In the

post darkroom chemical processing, a sepia stage

was added as well as a little softening. The darkroom

step doubled the time, but adding sepia in the

computer editing stage is much simpler these days!

The ‘child three’ photograph shows a spontaneous

split second action by big brother, as he decided

to check out the progress of his little sister’s teeth.

Nothing posed, just a spontaneous set of actions

caught on camera. Again it could be seen as a

record shot, but the family still laugh about the

natural action.

Children have that sense of un-predictability, but

also a sense of love and freedom. Many times have

I, as a photographer rather than a Father, had to

photograph an active child having fun around the

garden. What I always found was, as Yousuf Karsh

said, “That small fraction of a second” needed

to capture a special photograph of a child can

bring us back to reality, but we need patience and

understanding to achieve a photograph that brings

joy to the family, and often to the child later in life.

POSED PORTRAITS

It will be noted that my work endeavours to

use natural lighting as my belief is that it gives

authenticity to the photograph. That does not mean

that I don’t use other lighting though, because I do.

The examples I give on the next page are examples

of capturing folk as they are and attempting to find

something special as mentioned earlier.

October 2019 7

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