I have made this same picture over and over and I still love it. Birthday cupcakes with lit candle, a number of fingers held up to signify a birthday year, a lottery ticket, a dyed Easter egg, and more. This time it’s the four leaf clover my subject plucked from a pot in the yard (look closely since at first glance it looks like three, but it is four). I was actually taking pictures of her cute Valentine’s outfit when she found the clover and held it out to me to inspect. The resulting image is really cute and the clover pops out not only because my aperture was set wide open at F/2.8 and I focused on the clover (thus blurring the background), but also because of the contrast of the green against the red and white of her clothing. So whether it’s your child’s favorite stuffed animal, a perfect test score, or a special holiday object, this effect is a great way to bring focus to the event or milestone while still keeping the subject’s face present in your photos.
That’s of course one of the tricks to getting a good photo. Just keep taking pictures! But even when your doing some of the most mundane things, you might just find some perfect light and a child with a great attitude for the day! Here are two shots from our recent overnight in NYC. We went window shopping down in SOHO and while in a furniture store, she sat down while we browsed. When I checked on her, I noticed that the window light streaming in from the high broad windows was beautiful. Her eyes just sparkled when she looked up at me. Of course, I said, oh, you look so pretty, stay right there! The warm tones in the store made it even more beautiful and she cooperated for two or three shots. (32mm; F/5; ISO 400).
Like millions across the country, we dyed eggs this past weekend. And took pictures of the whole process. I have about 5 years worth of egg-dying photos now. (I see a big scrapbook collage with lots of 2×2 photos in my future). And each year I try to capture the one with the egg in focus and her face in the background smiling as she shows off her masterpieces one by one. Well, I got the egg in focus, and she’s nicely out of focus in the background. But no smile this year! I set my camera to “A” (aperture priority) and dialed in the widest aperture opening I could (f/5.7 at 97mm) so that the in front of and behind my subject (the egg) would be out of focus. I had my ISO turned all the way up to 3200 so that I would not have to use a flash. I like the result. And the egg went on to be further decorated and then promptly turned into a deviled egg!