Portrait: Child Candid or posed, capture an image of a child. Try getting down on their level for a unique perspective.

I love watching children experience our world. Their curiosity and ability to transform almost anything into enjoyment inspire me. Photographing them and capturing one moment of life can be a challenge, but if you are patient, they get used to the camera (if they are aware of it)  and simply become a part of what they are experiencing.

I took this week’s shot a couple of weeks ago. I knew the moment I saw it that it was for this challenge. He is responsible for the flying birds in my black and white street scenes. As he fed the birds, he ran among them, playing with them. Never shouting, but laughing as the birds flew and returned, reacting to the flailing of his arms as he turned this way and that, throwing the food.

ISO 400; F5.6; 1/500; 24mm B&W Original
ISO 400; F5.6; 1/500; 24mm B&W Original

The black and white function on a digital camera acts like a macro on the image, imposing a condition on the original. What you don’t see unless you can shoot and process in RAW is that the ‘negative’ is in colour. It only becomes evident when you take the image into edit mode of whatever your photo-finishing software is to do something like adding a signature or tweaking the exposure or contrast.

The other thing to note is that if you take the RAW colour image and convert it to black and white, you get more detail than you do in the jpg black and white version so that’s what I did for the image above. When I ‘developed’ the photo as a colour picture, it was completely different.

ISO 400; F5.6; 1/500; 24mm colour from the RAW
ISO 400; F5.6; 1/500; 24mm colour from the RAW

In the black and white version, the boy gets lost in the shadows, only saved by his plaid shirt. Now that the photo is in colour, the boy is clearly the focus and the nuances of his physical reaction to the birds become more clear.

Keeping my mind open allowed me to see that while my original idea was good, there was a better way to present it. I love these challenges!

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