The dog ate my homework

I haven’t posted from my photo class recently, so that’s what you get today—some of my recent homework assignments.

The goal of the first lesson you see here was to catch a child at the peak of action, with a whole Zen component: “Don’t try to anticipate the moment, just be an extension of your camera…”

That sounds great if I were kneeling behind a glacier in the quiet Arctic morning, waiting for a humpback to breach, but in this case, it was all I could do to remember that I had a camera in my hands, so the first two are pretty snapshotty. They move FAST, those kids.

I’ll have to post the outtakes of my attempts at this lesson next. Picture Will, Henry, their two girlfriends down the street, an active Dalmation and princess costumes on everyone. Better yet, I’ll show you. Tune in tomorrow.




Then this lesson, which was my favorite so far—using parents in the frame as part of the photo. I did one shoot with an expectant mom, who is also the photographer who got me interested in this class after she took it, and then I used two images I took in the last year. Voila!


Martha and Mom

Newborn Theo


Sydney, six months

Critique welcome, or just enjoy the babies. Instructor suggested cloning out mom’s ear in the Sydney shot (sorry, Shan!) What do you think?

And I know the conversion for Martha and Mom is full of hot spots—how the heck do you do a good conversion with white or super light colors in the frame? And I like them contrasty, which doesn’t help. Please weigh in if you’ve got some ideas, I’d love to start over and fix that shot.


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22 Responses to “The dog ate my homework”

  1. elizabethews Says:

    Your photography is so gorgeous. I love them all and would have a hard time coming up with any critique!

  2. La Says:

    Oh, with all the babies! Stop it! The cuteness! It hurts! (You are an amazing photgrapher, btw)

  3. Molly Says:

    I obviously don’t know enough to critique, but I can rave! LOVE, love, love.

  4. Sally Says:

    I love Martha’s sibling perched above her.

  5. Toonsis Says:

    The photos are beautiful! Anna can you use sepia tones or duotones for your photography class? Photoshop has great tools for creating duotone and tritone images. With a duotone, to the eye, duotone images appear to show better gradations of detail than an equivalent black and white may need. I like sepia for warmth. As for the Sydney shot I think by cloning the ear it would bring the focus back on the beautiful baby ; ) Any way you look at it they are all great shots…love to see the out takes too! Thank you again!

  6. Stacy Says:

    I think you did a great job on your action shots. It doesn’t look like you have any motion blur, so that is good. You just have to remember to keep your SS high and not have too small of an aperture since slight movement can really affect the focus on a narrow DOF.

    In B&W conversions with light colors, you have to watch the blowouts and when you add contrast a lot of the time you need to erase out those lighter areas that were blown out in the layer. That way you can have higher contrast without the blowouts. How do you normally do your conversions?

    I think cloning out the ear would be a good idea, since it is a little distracting. That is such a cute shot! It seems the color is off a little…maybe on the blue or cyan spectrum.

  7. Maria Says:

    LOVE the one of Will running down the orchard path. Love the energy in it-love that he’s off center on the path, and the light in that photo.
    Of course any photo with babies in it is bound to be a winner. Will in motion is wonderful.
    Love all the mom and baby shots…You’re asking for critical so… on the Theo shot, the blurred leg/foot is a bit distracting to me. Would that look weird though,to not see the leg? And you asked for critical!

  8. B. Says:

    Tough to beat the Will in orchard shot!

  9. Lisa Says:

    Anna! You should totally join Canon’s Baby Photo Contest!!! I just posted about it like fifteen minutes ago and then I found this post. They’re giving out 3 Canon 40Ds!

  10. Lisa Says:

    P.S. Love the 2nd, 3rd, 4th photos best. And I’d have to go with cloning out the ear. It’s a bit distracting.

    P.P.S. Join! Join! I’m going to live vicariously through you. Haha.

  11. Anna Says:

    Holy MOLY a 40D contest? SERIOUSLY?
    Lisa if I win one we will have to get married or something.

  12. dawnoftheday Says:

    You are doing a wonderful job!

  13. Maya Says:

    I love the running shot!

  14. QueenBee Says:

    I am in awe. I know your instructor is your instructor for a reason, (i.e. she’s pretty good) but I’m just in awe. Seriously, I could think of no other way these pictures could be any better.

  15. Sarah Says:

    The running shot is absolutely gorgeous. I always love your composition.

    My photo instructor always points out little bright spots in our photos that can be distracting, so yeah, if possible, crop out the ear. But it’s a beautiful picture regardless!

  16. Jillian Curtis Says:

    WOW beautiful photos 🙂

    You are very talented at capturing just that right moment.


  17. Christina Says:

    Great pics, I love the third one of him running! And the expectant mom and little girl shot, that’s a true “awww” moment. I struggle with blowouts on my b&W conversions, too, so I’m not much help there. I do agree about cloning out the ear.

  18. Shannon Says:

    I would absolutely agree with removing my ear from the pic. In fact, if you could help me find a way to permenantly stop my ear from peaking out of my hair, I would LOVE it. Darn sneaky ear…. 🙂

  19. Lisa Says:

    They still haven’t put up the official rules, but they’re targeting new mothers. I think you should still be eligible if you took pictures of infants, but in case they won’t allow it, I’ve thought of a backup plan. I feel guilty for getting carried away, but it’s only because I thought of you the moment I read it and then I saw your post for the day, and hello, I just started jumping all over the place. If you have friends with infants, you can strike a deal with them. You can take pictures of their baby, submit it under their name. If the photo wins the grand prize (10 grand, I think), you can split the cash. You can get a Mark III if you want. Haha. Although some units have been recalled because it has issues with focusing. If the photo wins first place, you keep the 40D. 😀

  20. arizaphale Says:

    Well I thoroughly enjoyed them all.

  21. Anna Says:

    I love it, Lisa, sounds great.

  22. They call it naptime for a REASON « Hank & Willie Says:

    […] I promised you some of the outtakes of the “child in action” photography lesson. Clearly not one of my better days behind the camera, it STARTED with bribes (never a good sign) […]

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