I’m not sure if it was the f-stop or the shutter speed. Maybe it was the ISO that was set at 1600 to capture night shots. It’s a little out of focus, as I was fuddling between auto and manual. I have no idea how I was able to capture that 0.8 seconds when Kieran actually STOPPED MOVING.
I just tapped the shutter.
I’m digging this photography thing. Is it really surprising? Seems like the world is stacked full of photographers. Heck, the guy who sold me my Mazda 3 has a photography business. Oddly, he never offered to forever capture the exhilaration and terror on my face as I signed away my life on this new car. Isn’t that what photography is about? Capturing life at its most spontaneous? At the very least, my 17K+ should have come with a complementary profile pic.
With a trip to Walt Disney World on the horizon, I felt compelled to learn how to take better pictures. My dad has always been something of a shutterbug. He would spend every family vacation by documenting virtually every moment of our trip. With his black and grey Canon camera strap worn around his body like Chewbacca and his bandolier, Dad would snap away relentlessly, forever freezing our family outings. He was able to perfectly capture our trips beyond the excepted “stand in front of something and smile at the camera” way that most remember their vacations. He didn’t snap pictures. He told stories.
The best example was Jennifer’s first ride on Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World. Dad perfectly captured the experience of Jennifer’s ride in three pictures:
A) Train in the station. (Happy)
B) Train departing. (Concerned)
C) Ride finished. (Terrified)
Dad would always choose the camera over comforting his daughter.
The ability of photographs to tell a story is what drives my interest in leaning to take better pictures. In a way, snapping stories through photos is a natural extension of my storytelling skills. I write scripts. I film and edit videos. I do print ads. Everyday, I use words and visuals to communicate an idea or a story. It certainly can’t hurt to have a stronger sense of showing something visually.
Pictures tell us so much. They cut right to the emotion, showing us joy, fear, grief or exhilaration. Writers do the same thing. They carefully choose the right words to evoke and communicate feelings. Taking better pictures is the next step in evolving my storytelling skills.
Admittedly, part of this stems from a, how shal we say, boredom with writing. I love writing, but I don’t want to be limited by it. “Copywriter” isn’t satisfying enough of a title for me anymore. I have more to give creatively than witty headlines or scripts. It’s time to showcase everything.
The challenge is to conveying my writing style into a distinctive photographic style. You can see my humorous and witty style and tone in my video work, now I need to show that same style in still photos.
Storytelling is what’s going to make my pictures pop. I’m not really interested in snapping portrait shots or landscapes. Nor am I trying to perfect the “look at the camera” snap. As any of us who’ve ever been forced against our will into being a part of a family portrait, the REAL family moments happen before and after the shutter snaps. I’m going to focus (PUN) on those moments. Where the story comes to life.
With kids of my own and dad’s dented hand me down zoom lens (which I was responsible for damaging. See: Red Sox vs. A’s ALDS 1988 Game 1) in hand, it’s my turn to tell the story of our upcoming Walt Disney World trip. Yet, with my snazzy DSLR camera in hand, I’m looking into purchasing a small point and click camera for the trip. Since the boys listen to their mother far more then their father, they’re more apt to stay still as she snaps shot with her camera. That works for me. There are moments far more important to capture….
The first time their eyes land on that giant castle at the end of Main Street USA.
The laughter (or terror) as they wonder if this haunted room is actually stretching.
Their first glimpse of a hippo charging a boat as a skipper wields his pistol.