a girl

by Renatik
(Rep of Moldova, Chisinau)

It was the play yard at the hotel, and I was watching her playing and trying to catch best moments.

I like the way she looks.

Children playing offer a wealth of photographic opportunities. The difficulty so often is that children generally fall into one of two camps – those who love the camera, and those who are camera shy.

Getting either in a position to get a great photo is a real challenge. Those who love the camera tend to show off too much, and their true personality is lost. And those who are camera shy always come out looking miserable!

One simple trick to help achieve this is to keep talking to children as you photograph them. Talking tends to shift their focus away from the camera as they concentrate on your conversation.

It would be interesting if Renatik could let us know if there were any tricks used in this shot, or maybe it was just fortunate that (s)he had a good model!

Onto to the good and bad . . . first the good. Clearly the innocence of the child shines through here. And it’s a well timed pose with the swing and its apex.

Another tip here is to time your photo (as it seems Renatik has done). Many things in life have a rhythm – waves breaking on a beach, trees blowing in a breeze . . . and children on swings!

If you follow your subject you can time your shot better. The trick is to press the shutter button just before they reach the place where you want them. By the time the message has got from your brain to your finger, and the camera has had its time to think, you should end up with your subject exactly where you want them.

Another good point in this scene is the lack of distractions – the background is fairly unobtrusive. It helps the viewer to concentrate on the subject.

And so onto the bad (perhaps ‘improvements’ would be a better term?). As unobtrusive as the background is, I wonder if just shifting position a little to the right would have helped – it would have cut out of shot the trestle to the right.

Also moving to the right would have allowed the child to be swinging more to the left of the frame than directly in the centre. This would have given the child more ‘space’ to swing into in the shot.

My final tip involves using a slightly wider aperture. This would have blurred the background slightly whilst keeping the girl in focus.

Any other ways to photograph this? Here’s something that Renatik might try if this sort of shot presents itself again – how about a photo of just the shadow under the girl?

Imagine a tightly cropped image of the sand, with her shape and the rope of the swing casting a crisp clear shadow?

Just a few thoughts, and thanks Renatik for a lovely photo!


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