I like the defocused background that comes with shooting at wide apertures, but the shallow depth of field means it’s tricky to get the exact plane you want in focus to be in focus. That’s especially true when shooting with a short telephoto—which, for me, is 75mm—at a wide aperture—f/2—with the subject a few feet away. Compounding the problem is that my portrait subjects, my granddaughters, are in constant motion.
Last Thursday, we let the two grandkids watch Cinderella, and they were transfixed. So much so, that I was able to take several shots of each of them with my preferred settings and nail focus, because they weren’t moving, and weren’t paying any attention to me.
The result is one very good portrait of Eva. I especially like her pose, which she adopted naturally, with zero direction from me. And I could place her against a uniform dark background. The result is a successful portrait: good pose, lighting, background, expression and clothes.
This one is also good.
Taking Kai’s photo while she watched TV was also much easier than usual. As Eva did, she posed herself: I just took the photo.
Maybe the lesson for me is: Photograph kids when they’re so distracted with something that they’re paying no attention to you. That doesn’t guarantee a good shot, but it worked out well in this instance.
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