ARCHIVE 191 – FATHER AND DAUGHTER (MONO)

 

 

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A good friend with his baby daughter, 5 April 2009.

The baby’s mother loves the direct and very vital connection between the baby’s rapt gaze and the father’s smiling face and she’s totally right.  I also like the apparently huge size of the father’s hand as it rests on his daughter’s diminutive shoulder.

I don’t have a lot of confidence with people pictures, but luck has won out here – and this sort of close, intimate shot is one of the things that, for me, monochrome is all about.

D700 with 105mm Nikkor; 6400 ISO.  I was very new to both digital photography and the D700 when I took this, and I have a vague recollection of frantically raising the ISO to 6400 to keep pace with the faltering light conditions, and of then setting matrix metering and trusting to autofocus – with a lucky outcome!
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PEOPLE 193 – MOTHER AND BABY

 

 

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Mother and baby at a wedding near Thika, Kenya, in the late 1970s.

African women’s love of gorgeous, bright colours.

OM-2 with 75-150 Zuiko; Kodak Ektachrome 200 colour slide (I think!); Color Efex Pro 4.
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PEOPLE 165: EATING UPSY DAISY – GRANDDAUGHTER 5 (MONO)

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Our granddaughter, eating Upsy Daisy; 5 Apr 2014.

Upsy Daisy is one of the puppets in a BBC programme for young children – In the Night Garden.   Other characters include Iggle Piggle, the Ninky Nonk, Makka Pakka and the Haahoos. 

We find this wonderfully simple and calming TV, and I especially like the bit where, at the end of each programme, Iggle Piggle gets into his boat and, with a light on the prow, sets off across the sea as he goes to sleep.

D700 with 105mm Nikkor; 12,800 ISO; Dfine 2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Warm Tone Paper preset.
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PEOPLE 164 – GRANDDAUGHTER 4 (MONO)

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Our granddaughter, now over a year old; 5 Apr 2014.

Sitting in a Newbury pub, over a meal, not a lot of room to do things, but I got the camera out and started firing, as and when. 

The landlord said “That’s a big camera!”, and I was within a hair of replying “I bet you say that to all the boys!”.  Don’t know what held me back really.  Can’t have been any yearning for respectability.  And so to Last of the Summer Wine’s Barry, talking about respectability – “I mean, I get my dustbin out on time and keep my shoes polished, I thought that was enough!”.  I’m rambling, though I’ve yet to touch a drop – hope you enjoy the shot!

D700 with 105mm Nikkor; 6400 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art High Key preset.
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PEOPLE 163 – PORTRAIT OF A BABY BOY 2 (MONO)

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Another of our friends’ baby son; 6 Mar 2014.

Light was from a bay window, with open blinds – I love working with simple, natural lighting like this – and its completely free too!!!  I’ve never tried studio lighting, and if I can at all avoid it, I stay away from flash.  Natural lighting is the thing – and with something like this wonderful (macro) lens, it really rocks!  I’ve also never tried using reflectors, and they’re something I must have a go at.

There  is another image from this session here.  And another here.

D700 with 105mm Nikkor; 12,800 ISO; Dfine 2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Fine Art Process preset.

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PEOPLE 160 – PORTRAIT OF A BABY BOY (MONO)

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A friend’s baby son; 6 Mar 2014.

Light was from a bay window, with open blinds.  His expression?  He’s never seen anything like it in his life – tho whether that’s a reference to the gaping, hooded lens of the 105mm, or to me, is uncertain.

There is an another image from this session here.

D700 with 105mm Nikkor; 12,800 ISO; Dfine 2; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Soft Orange preset.
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PEOPLE 151 – MOTHER, SON AND A LOVING SMILE (MONO)

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Mother and baby son; 29 Nov 2013.

We went over to see our friends’ new baby.  My wife waded in with some of her wonderful knitting – a cardigan and a blanket – and almost as an after thought I took a camera. 

Our friend is a warm and caring person and, with the camera making more noise than I’d have liked (how I wished for a Leica!), I managed to catch her loving smile.  That smile, those gentle and concerned hands – this is love, and it certainly makes me feel good.  It is one of the huge things that Life is all about.

But, on the downside, absent mindedly grabbing a camera, I took the wrong one for the job.

Because while the D800 is a superb machine, jamming all those pixels into that full frame sensor does make it struggle a bit in low light – and low (but beautiful) light is what there was.  And so, at over 25,000 ISO, to grain and more grain.  Which is certainly not a catastrophic thing, especially if presented in mono, but the fact remains that I would have done better to take the D700 which, with a third of the D800’s pixels, is much handier in low light – while producing distinctly less bulky files too, of course.

I focused on the baby’s eye, shot wide open at f2.8 and, using matrix metering,  let the rest take care of itself.  I’ve toned down some of the backdrop, particularly that at mid to upper left, which was near a window.  I had a flash with me, but I’m always wary of using flash in close proximity to babies and, besides, I much prefer natural light if I can get it – light from a single window can be just glorious.

D800 with 105mm Nikkor; 25,600 ISO; Silver Efex Pro’s Antique Portrait preset.
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PEOPLE 137 – GRANDDAUGHTER 3 (MONO)

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Our granddaughter at her baptism ceremony, in the arms of her mum; 22 Sept 2013.

Aged six months she is interacting more with everyone, and I am greatly looking forward to the time that she starts talking.

Nikon D700 with 24-120 Nikkor at 95mm; 400 ISO; diffused flash; Silver Efex Pro 2, using the Faux Infrared preset.
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PEOPLE 128 – GRANDDAUGHTER (MONO)

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Our granddaughter, aged 5 months and blowing a bubble; 11 Aug 2013.

Nikon D700 with 105mm Micro Nikkor; 1600 ISO; converted to mono with Silver Efex Pro 2, jumping off at the Warm Tone Paper preset.
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PEOPLE 127 – PHOTOGRAPHER (MONO + COLOUR)

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Photographer; 11 Aug 2013.

Framed by my granddaughter’s eye, my great dark bulk, backlit by a bay window and most likely scaring her half to death, wields the camera.

Nikon D700 with 105mm Micro Nikkor; 1600 ISO; conversion to mono and selective colour restoration with Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Low Key 1 preset.
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