“Thomas, I want you to sit still right there…” and then I had approximately 30 seconds to take these photos before he was on the move again (those frogs are definitely looking at me with pleading eyes to issue a directive from the Mom Command Center that frogs are off-limits. However, Mom Command Center realized the hypocrisy of taking photos of the frogs and then demanding that they be released immediately, so no such mandate was made. Hoppy & Croaky did eventually make it back to their happy pond, and did the backstroke while singing “I’m a Survivor” by Destiny’s Child.
As I’ve mentioned, I like to take a photojournalist approach which means I take a lot of action shots. Getting a clear shot can be particularly challenging with a moving subject and usually involves me saying in a very calm tone to my jumping five year old to “sit still for just one minute!” which always works well. Haha.One major compositional element of a photograph that really makes the subject stand out is choosing an aperture, angle, and focal point to separate the subject from the rest of the scene. In this series, I was focusing on my son’s clean* hands holding two frogs. I wanted the frogs and his hands to stand out – so I used a low aperture, stood far enough away to make sure they were in focus, and chose a focal point that would make them clear while blurring the background.
I usually take a lot of photos to try to capture a few good ones – and changing up the subject that is in focus is one of the ways I try to get one picture that I really like. In this case, I really can’t decide which one I like the best.I was going between an aperture of 2.0 and 4.0 for this pictures and had the ISO and shutter set to auto. This is how I usually have my camera set – I’m mostly concerned with what is in focus in the picture, so I adjust the aperture and let the camera do the rest so I can then concentrate on composition. I could have also started adjusting the shutter to make sure I was freezing action, but I only had a few minutes to snap the photo.
I used my Fuji x100s for all of these, and the camera has an easy setting to focus on the subject – I hold the shutter halfway down and then move to compose my photo. Most cameras have a version of this feature to choose a focal point. I wanted to focus on the hands and the frogs because to me, this is the essence of a little boy: and he is ALL BOY. I think I captured it!
Which picture do you like the best? I think I’m going to frame one. I may convert to black & white. I can’t decide. Also: what are your tricks for getting action shots with your kids?