» Wazari Wazir Photographer Blog, Malaysian Photographer

A Moment of Childhood

© 2010 Wazari Wazir | A Portrait of My Son

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing.  What!  Is it nothing to be happy?  Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long?  Never in his life will he be so busy again.

( Jean-Jacques Rousseau )

Child is unpredictable, they enjoy every moment, they enjoy the present and always have something that attract their attention, they are curious about anything, from a small tiny things to a bigger things. I like watching my son playing and as usual I watch him with my camera always beside me. My favorite lens for taking a picture of my son is 50mm lens, here I use 50mm f1.4 lens, I’ve two 50mm, the other one is 50mm f1.8. Even though I use 50mm f1.4 lens, I seldom open it full, usually I will use f2 or f1.8. There is nothing wrong to use f22 but most people who bought this lens wanted to use big aperture to throw away the background, to get “Bokeh”.

Some people have asked me, why their picture get blur when using 50mm at wide aperture like f1.8. The reason is very simple, if we use big aperture like f1.4 or f1.8, you will get very shallow depth of field, meaning that everything that is not in your “target” focus will be blurred. I mean, like a portrait shot here, people will focus on a person eyes so anything beyond that focusing area will be blurred, even the foreground will be blurred, not just the background, the eyes will be sharp. Then you may ask, why is it my picture, especially on the eyes are still blurred when I’ve already get a sharper image in the viewfinder?

Among the reason why the eyes still not look sharp even when they look sharp in the viewfinder, could be because one of this things. First maybe you press the shutter too hard and “jerk” the camera a bit, so the focusing will be a bit off. The other thing is maybe you are using a very slow shutter speed, I rarely use shutter speed below 1/100 when I take a picture of my son. In this picture I use shutter speed 1/400 at f1.8.

Why I use fast shutter speed? My son is not an inanimate object, he can run anytime, he can move anytime, so I need to use fast shutter speed in order to freeze the moment, even if my son walk away, with a shutter speed at 1/400, I still manage to get that image. I suggest don’t use shutter speed below 1/100 when using 50mm lens at wide open aperture. Unless you are shooting landscape, a building, a statue with a tripod, then it should be okey, you can even use one minute of exposure then.

When shooting portrait, always focus on the eyes, there is an exception here, maybe you want the shirt to look sharp or maybe you want to focus on the toys that your son playing with, there are many exception depending on the situation but basically it is the eyes that should be the target of your focusing, it is easy to focus on a large part of the body compared to the smaller eyes especially when your child is running here and there, but  it will be very hard to keep the eyes sharp while focusing on them, but then again who said taking picture of a small kids is a piece of cake? If it were easy everybody would get a great picture.

A great picture will be much more pleasant to the eyes if we get the right editing, the right tone, here in this picture above, I get the tone from my eBook, You can learn how to get that warmth kind of a feeling with the right tone. Get My eBook HERE

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