Posts Tagged ‘children’
Last spring I spent a few hours in Nara, the capital of Japan over 1300 years ago and the home to many priceless temples and shrines. On this visit, I took a stroll through Deer Park and it’s adjacent temple, the Todai-Ji. This temple is a World Heritage Site and offers an opportunity to view the Daibutsu housed inside. This Buddha was cast over 1300 hundred years ago although some parts were recast due to damage several hundred years ago. However, having been here several times, I was more interested in capturing images of people and deer.
By the way, if you visit Deer Park, be very careful as they have been known to attack people on occasion. And they can be agressive if you offer them food.
One of the most rewarding things to do when you are in Cambodia has nothing to do with sightseeing at venues like Angkor Wat or visiting the Irawaddy dolphins at Kratie. I recommend you take some time out of your busy days to visit a rural school and donate school supplies. These students are not well to do and are always short of basic supplies like pencils, paper tablets and rulers. For less than $50 US you can easily supply every student with these supplies. And you never know how you might be impacting these students. For every child attending school, there is probably another that does not attend school for one reason or another and it is near impossible to make a difference in their lives. At least with the children in school they are learning the basics although there is no telling where they may be in ten more years. The five and six year olds in these photos may be working in the fields with their parents in another 6 or 7 years.
Photos were taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens or a Nikon D300s and Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VRI zoom lens.
One of the most fulfilling things one can do when visiting the rural areas of Cambodia is to set aside time to visit schools. As some of the rural schools are extremely poor, you should think about buying school supplies to donate to the children.
This particular school, which is located south of Stung Treng, had no electricity, windows and other conveniences that we take for granted in other parts of the world. In fact, the children had neither paper nor pencils. Instead they were using planks of wood and chalk during class. I purchased pencils, rulers and tablets for each of the 100 children in the three classes. (And candy and cookies to please each student’s sweet tooth.)
The children were kindergartners to second graders and were extremely bright. However as they were in a very poor rural area, their future is a bit hazy. Do what you can to help. Not only will the children benefit, so will you.
You never know where your next decent photo will come from. While on a recent trip by boat up the Mekong from Cambodia to Laos, we passed this small hut on a remote island. This part of the island was beautiful with crystal clear water and a beach of sorts. Really didn’t it give it much mind as we were heading up the river to see a series of waterfalls that are hardly visited.
On the way back down the river, we were so dehydrated and exhausted by our visit to the falls that we decided to stop for drinks and a bit to eat. The hut was run by a young couple with three small chidren. It really wasn’t much but it was shady and the ice-cold drinks hit the spot. The kids were so photogenic that between big gulps of water and soda, I shoot off a few photos. They acted like they had never seen a camera before so I spent some time shooting and then showing the photos to the kids. This interaction became of source of fun for them and me. As it should be.
All photos were taken using either a Nikon D700 with a Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens or a Nikon D300s with a Nikkor AFS 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom lens.
As I’ve posted before, the best photos of children are those full of action with children doing what they love to do, playing. In addition to allowing you to capture energetic vibrant photos, play does keep them occupied so that the images are not stunted by wooden poses with fake smiles. On the beach, try taking photos of your child splashing water. And the closer the better.
Photographs at the beach bring up other issues such as safety of the child and keeping your camera dry and out of the water. Before you consider pictures at the beach, think safety first. Also, you might consider one of those water-proof “point and shoot” cameras that are available for several hundred dollars.
Photos taken with an “unwater-proof” Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
Over the years I’ve traveled (and lived for a year) to Delhi, some of the best places to attempt photographs are in the market areas that are teeming with people, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and other contributors to congestion. Sometimes it is difficult to shoot from street level for the very reason you visit there, the mass of humanity. Early on, I decided that one of the best vantage points is the human-powered rickshaw. Not only do you rise above the commotion, you also have an unimpeded view of the street life. This becomes even more important if you find yourself in a narrow alley. If you attempt to walk the alley, you have to worry about being run over by every means of transportation. The rickshaw changes all that.
This series of photos was taken near the Jama Masjid mosque in old Delhi.
Photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.
Photographing children need not result in an endless stack of children posing somewhat awkwardly for snapshot quality photos. With just a few elements you can transform the ordinary photograph into something worthy of mounting and then hanging on your family’s picture wall.
I’m not guaranteeing that all your photos will become masterpieces. But you can be well on your way to taking better photographs.
- Instead of posing the child or children, photograph them while they are playing. You will end up with natural looking shots. Doesn’t matter what they are doing. In this series of photos, these six year old girls were doing what comes naturally on the beach, walking around looking for seashells, hermit crabs and somesuch. In their play, they didn’t pose for these photos. In fact, they paid me no mind. Do this and you end up with natural looking shots.
- Consider taking photographs from different perspectives. Maybe a profile from a low-angle, maybe a 3/4 frontal. You will end up with a wider range of photos and maximize the chance that some of them will be very good. Remember, different perspectives can be accomplished by the child climbing or sitting or any dynamic movement.
- Consider the use of props or accessories (toys etc) for activity. Props allow the child to extend limbs, turn their heads, reach up/down. These movements can make for graceful or photogenic “unposed” poses. In some of these photos, one girl is wearing a hat. Not only did the hat cover her head from the tropical sun, it also added an additional point of interest to the photograph, making the girl to appear a bit stylish in some photos.
- Pay attention to the background. Consider the background an important part of the photo. It shouldn’t distract from your subject.
- Look for nature to help. Wind, sun, shade or any natural occurrence doesn’t have to be distraction. Use nature to your advantage. Look at the photos where the breeze added a different dynamic to the child walking.
There are other things that one can do but these are a good start. Give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.
These photographs were taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens and Nikkor 135mm f/2 lens. The photos were shot in Hua Hin, Thailand.