My son and I squeezed in a quick trip to the community beach park this week. As any shade tree photographer would tell you, after a while your kids don’t like to sit for portraits. They have sat for hundreds if not thousands of “test” shots. This is true for my son as well. My son’s expression above is telling me “Dad, are you done yet”. For some reason I find this portrait more compelling than the multitudes I have captured over the years. After several attempts with silly smiles I finally said “just look serious” and this was the expression he gave.
I attribute some of my appeal of this image to composition. First the sun was setting to my back-right and there was a thin layer of clouds filtering the harsh light you would normally experience here at this time of day (trust me I have tried). My son did not have to squint yet I still had enough front and side lighting to not need a flash to iluminate his face. Second, my son was wearing very bright clothing (to celebrate an Orioles playoff game that evening) and those colors were very contrasting to the colors on the beach. Third, the clouds were starting to light up with sunset light so there is somthing other than the portrait happening in the shot. And fourth, I chose to shoot at a wide aperature so that the background would fade in focus and draw attention to the subject sitting very close to me.
If you are familiar with the Chesapeake Bay this photograph is taken on the south side of the mouth of the Magothy River. The far background land in the photo is Maryland’s eastern shore north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. On the left side of the far shore line would be Rock Hall Maryland. On the closer shorline to the right of the image is the inlet to the Little Magothy River (God’s proof that he loves Cape St. Claire, MD), and if you followed the shorline past the point on the near right of the image you would find Sandy Point State Park a few short miles away.
Is this an award winning shot? No, not by any means. But it is proof I am making progress, which is why I am sharing it with you.