Word and Image

Posts tagged “Family

Flash Experiment

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Ghost images made by multiple flash exposure. I did it once. I have not had the need to do it again. It was an experiment in using my flash settings. I would have to read the manual to remember the technique. There are many things you try. I forget more than I remember. The things you use everyday get 99% of your images. It is still useful to experiment. Sometimes you do get to use a long lost skill.

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But flash photography and I have had a long relationship in which I controlled very little in our image making. I am a reluctant user of flash and prefer available light. So this was my one and only multiple exposure foray. Thanks Dave.


Old School

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This was a goof picture based on the ever popular selfies. I simply used Photoshop. Yes, I readily admit to doing this. We each took a shot and I was able to match the images well enough to clone in two people. The interesting thing is that we really were classmates with desks just like this. So this is not New York but it was West Virginia where I grew up. The desks were in a Shaker Village schoolroom. And somehow I remember them being a lot larger. Yes there were inkwells. But there was no ink by the time I attended.


Skateboard

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There was a point when David took up the sport to test his skill. He could ski pretty well. He wanted to snowboard but his mother required him to don a helmet. So he opted to skateboard. She did not know he needed a helmet for this too. I have to admit that David got the hang of it and could do some nice tricks. Basic things, but he was skilled enough for me to be impressed. And of course I was around to get some images. Look ma, no feet (on the board).

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Selfie

(multiple values) Flash manual bounce 1/80 SB800

Warning. Don’t try this at home. And if you do keep in mind that double chin can be the result. It is another early flash experiment. The bounce flash gives fairly even lighting. But the image needs some more front light and a catch light for the eyes. Anyway, it seems easy enough to mess up the shot. For all my past subjects, I grimace at the mistakes you had to endure.

(multiple values) Auto SB800 direct and bounce

If you get it right then you can avoid the unflattering images. But the learning curve is always interesting. My Nikon D70 had a center focus point. It neatly did exactly that and got the bookcase perfectly focused. Later I found the Nikon D200 allowed for closest subject focus. After learning that, the images all focused on the near subject without the annoying out of focus errors.

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Autofocus does work well when you plan. The manual focus of my youth does not surpass the focus on the eyes here. And it helps if you have catch lights.DSC_0030-2


Self Portrait 2004

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I had this spiffy new Nikon D70 and I was experimenting with images and lighting. I was using natural light and flash. Anyone who wandered into my path got in on the experimenting. This was bounce flash. It has even lighting and there are catch lights in the eyes.

Once I mastered the basics I tried to get some family group shots.

DSC_0044We never did get that special shot. You know the one the professionals get. Retrospectively just to get the four of us in a single frame was special.


Rhinebeck – Old Time Outfit?

 

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When we were going to Rhinebeck and Charlie was giving helicopter rides, he cooked up the idea that we should also wear something more in the spirit of the place. He got me some suspenders. Yup. I looked pretty period. DSC_0029

He’s a handsome devil. I wore the stuff because he was my ride home. I didn’t want to walk.

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Annual Xmas Family Photo

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I have tried to stage this shot all different ways. It is not easy to get a group shot. Someone blinks. Someone frowns. And those in front are larger than the group in the second row. The ladies hide their weight. Lighting is tricky. When it all comes together it is the annual family photo. And someone is always unhappy with how they look. This shot was about ten years ago. A lot has happened since then. Let it be at that.


Xmas

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It is another holiday I will miss at home this year. We had a lot of nice ones when the kids grew up. The annual tradition was to decorate the tree. We collected ornaments as we traveled so there were very few ornaments the same. And there were a lot of them at one point. The other tradition was who got to put Santa on the top of the tree. Somehow the kids kept track year after year. For a long time I had to lift them up without letting them fall into the tree. I was never forgiven the one time I slipped.

And there was a year when we were traveling on Christmas eve. In order to have time to make Christmas, Lisa decided not to tell the kids and we planned to have the day on the 26th. Shhhh just don’t tell. The airline pilot almost spoiled it when he spied reindeer off the plane’s wingtip. Lisa recovered quickly to Jules’ question by saying that Santa had to start early in order to arrive on time.

The next day the 26th was just like it was December 25th. The family arrived, I taped Xmas music from the radio complete with commercials, and we recreated the day without the kids noticing. I did not confess for about ten years.

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Meanwhile we continued the tradition of Santa leaving a stocking full of small gifts. Santa doesn’t wrap so the kids could distinguish presents. The stockings continued well into the kids’ early twenties at which time I inquired as to when they knew there was no Santa. I guess we all kept the charade for a lot of years. Funny, though, the next year we stopped doing stockings. Bittersweet.


Italy

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Well unless I told you how would you know where? But it was a mother daughter trip. Jules had spent a fairly miserable time in London. She had done a volunteer work in an exchange program. The problem was in acclimatizing. She was young and isolated. She did not know her way around. My phone bill was fairly steep with the consoling phone calls going back and forth. The upshot was that Lisa flew to Europe and they spent a few weeks in Italy. My kid grew up and she looks happy again. It was an experience she never spoke to me about. But the pain of it was palpable as it was happening. That was enough.


John

 

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It’s another year gone by and it’s John’s birthday. He had the fortune to be born near to Christmas. My aunt Fu Ching would always be able to say something nice about anything that happened in life. To me it was always like you have to wait so long  after Christmas feeling like you were cheated that the days are so close together. No matter what, it is nice to remember and say happy birthday.


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