Tuesday, February 1, 2011

10.5 seconds to make it good

How fast can you move in 10.5 seconds? Can you set up a camera while holding a wiggly baby, run to your pinpointed position, and pose with your child before the timer goes off? I gave it a shot yeserday.

Since I'm getting into photography, want to get better and want to connect with other photo hobbiest I finally upgraded my Flickr account to pro, joined a couple groups, and even added a nifty widget to my sidebar.

When I was browsing around in one of my groups I noticed this gorgeous photo of a mother and daughter. She also has a biracial daughter and I just loved their faces side by side and the contrast reminded me of my daughter and I. I noticed in her description she said it was a self portrait-Waa? And that she had cropped her remote out of the shot. She was also linked up to the group "Self-Portrait with CHILD."

Despite having a pretty expensive camera, my husband can't seem to snap a decent picture with it. I frequently ask him if he'll take a picture of Lil' J and I and he'll sigh, but he'll do it. But it's almost always blurry. After about 10 times of saying "Ok now this time try it this way..." he gets really annoyed and no one is really happy at that point. He's ready to go watch sports, Lil' J is tired of us and our silly faces, and I'm just so darn picky and aggravated that he's not getting it right. So I thought trying to capture a self-portrait wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Now I don't have a tripod for my camera, which this woman had. I also don't have a remote. But I have a nifty self timer button, and can run REALLY fast.

There's a spot in our neighborhood I love to go to take pictures. It's a wide open area with lots of trees and green grass. The ground isn't level so I thought I could set my camera up high, then run down the hill, fix my hair, pose with Lil' J, and have the camera snap just in time.

When we got across the street I noticed a fallen tree was slumped at the top of the hill, so I decided to improvise used that as my tripod. I laid our quilt down, put my daughter on it, framed the shot toward her, then made a mental note of how much space I had. I set the timer for 10 seconds (it was that or two seconds) and ran.

The first photo wasn't so bad but my head was cut off. I realized this was a lot of energy for one photo at a time, so I changed the setting to snap 5 pictures in a row. Ran, and did it again.  After doing that a few times I had gotten a couple of good shots but not quite what I was hoping for. The first three photos I'd be setting up the pose and the last two were somewhat decent but not enough to choose from. So I changed the setting to snap 10 photos in a row and went at it again. Now I was getting somewhere.
The funny thing was Lil' J liked the sound the camera made when it was rapid firing she would look at it and laugh, which made for a great photo.

After running back and forth a few more times, and surely confusing my poor child I was stoked when I saw my last shot, and I knew it was time to stop. I got it!

I showed it to my husband and he was impressed, but then when I showed him the picture that inspired me he said "Oh so you copied it?" No! Ok, well sorta, I copied the pose, but that's not illegal! Besides, I was limited by height because I don't have a tripod. And who is he to judge me anyway?
My photos aren't as cute as the original one that inspired me but I'm working on it! I uploaded it to that flicker group and I'm going to try some more of these as long as the weather stays warm, Lil' J cooperates and I can come up with different pose ideas. Taking pictures is becoming my new favorite thing to do on my day off. I just ordered a wireless camera remote for my camera for $3.50 off ebay so that should save me from running back and forth (even though the exercise is warranted). Lil' J loves playing outside and I love the memories, so it's a all good all around.

Self-portraits are a neat little photo challenge, especially with a baby, and aside from our shoot before her baby blessing, these are some of the best photos of us together. Figures. You want something done right you've gotta do it yourself!

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