Posted by: David Vernon | June 17, 2009

Capturing the Moment

A Calm Morning(Note: Today’s guest blooger, Lynn Dunaway, is a knitting photographer, er a photographer that knits, here in Central Illinois. She’s famous for eating hummus, knitting, being extremely kind, and her unique perspective on the world. Enjoy her post today).

Whether it’s the look on the groom’s face at the moment he first sees his bride or that few seconds wheb the evening light flashes on the graveyard tombstones as witnessed by Ansel Adams, we all are in pursuit of capturing a moment.

Lynn_BubblesHow does one capture a lightning-fast two-year-old? As one of my instructors put it, “Set the camera on automatic and shoot, shoot, shoot!” The point being, I believe, that one uses all one’s basic composition and lighting knowledge and skills, then picks the optimum automatic setting, and comes up with images that will be great with just a bit of cropping.

Weddings are great opportunities to capture those important moments. Remember to plan your shots and think location, location, location! Two of my favorites moments are that look on the groom’s face when he first sees his bride and the relaxed and happy smiles of both the bride and groom when they make that trip back down the aisle. I always place myself about 1/3 back from the front of the altar and on the aisle. Of course, you have to follow the Church or facilities rules about flash or not. Then just try really hard to capture those exact times.

lynn_wedSometimes the moment presents itself to you. At my Sister’s wedding the best shot of the day was during the professional photo session after the ceremony. We were being goodphotographers letting the professional flash first and then taking our snaps. At one point Sister Sue and Greg faced each other, sighed a combined big sign, closed their eyes, and put the foreheads together…bingo! Flash…got it! Then the pro had them recreate it so he, too, could document the emotion.

Also at weddings don’t forget to photograph all the lovely details that the bride has spent months planning: the detail in her dress, the back of the dress, the hairstyles, the centerpieces, the cakes, the invitations, the programs, the gift table…she’s really put time and thought into these details. Capture those little moments…like the bride and her Grandma chatting tete a tete. (I personally would be too stressed to do the photos of record but love doing candids at weddings.)

lynn_lilacs2What about nature? How do we capture nature and our beautiful landscape to the optimum? I have learned that the human eye is about a 200mm zoom. If I have learned anything, it is that the interesting object in your landscape – that your eye has zoomed to – must be captured by walking right up close to it. I use as wide-angle a lens as I have in my bag, find a backdrop to go behind that interesting item (move around 360 degrees if you have to), go for greatest depth of field, focus on that object, reframe and shoot. Go for those optimum morning and evening times when the light is oh so pretty.

Bracket, bracket, bracket!
You want to get the best photo in camera and most of these moments flit by us in the blink of an eye. Do bracket and get a successful capture…recreating the moment often is not an option.

Or take a mistake into PhotoShop and play with it. It just might be salvageable with a little creativity!DSC_1379

Make a list of your own personal moments that you want to capture, grab that camera, go out there hunting, and make it happen!

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