Sunday, February 27, 2011

Photographing my son (and shooting photos on train tracks)

On Friday, my wife and daughter had some errands to run and it was just my son and I at home. I asked Connor what he wanted to do and, to my delight, he said, "Dad, Let's get the cameras and go shoot some photos." The rain had stopped. so we drove up by Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos, CA and looked for some cool things to shoot.

It was a cold crisp day and there was a lot of run off from the previous days of rain. As we drove around the reservoir we came across numerous spots with running water coming off the mountains. So, we broke out our tripods and shot some slow shutter speed shots of the water. Connor also shot some macro shots of banana slugs and mossy logs.
I saw this sole piece of ivy climbing up a water barrel and liked the composition. Nothing spectacular, but interesting nonetheless.

 
After shooting images for an hour or so, we were driving back towards our house and I stopped by some train tracks which are located less than a mile from our house. I have always wanted to shoot images there, but never have. Connor was willing to be my subject, so we hopped out of the car and shot some photos. As you can see from the image above, we started with Connor just standing on the tracks. Even though I liked this pose, I felt like it needed something more.

So for the next pose I got down low and I asked Connor to do the same thing.

 
I wanted to use the train tracks to "frame" Connor. (Photographer's note: I shot this image using the Canon 100-400 lens at f5 to put the focus on Connor's face, allowing the train tracks to fall out of focus fairly quickly.) We both liked this shot but it didn't seem natural to be laying in the middle of the tracks.


Next, we decided to try some other poses with Connor sitting on the tracks and we liked these the best.


This photo is Connor's favorite which is now printed and enlarged to 13"x19" on the wall of his room. I had him move to the other side of the tracks to get more sunlight on his face. I also wanted to have the trees behind him without the power lines coming out from behind his head.

(Photographers note: When shooting portraits like this, don't be afraid to turn your camera and try different angles. As you can see from this image, the 45 degree angle really helps create drama in the image. I also brought this into NIK Silver Efex Pro to covert the image to black and white.)


2 comments:

Gina said...

Great shots! Really like the train track pictures!

Anonymous said...

I hope to raise awareness. I hope to encourage people to use abandoned tracks. Three girls were taking pictures on tracks when tragedy stuck.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705392623/Utah-County-community-mourns-loss-of-teenagers-hit-by-train.html