Monday, July 2, 2012

photo tip : learning from your mistakes

The other day, Jimmy and I went to the Lomita Railroad Museum. The place has real engines and caboose and such, so I was totally excited to take photos of Blee. The thing is, the museum hours are 10am-5pm...not really the best time to take photos (the best time is an hour or two before sunset). I was waiting for a cloudy day, but I took my bet and headed over around 4.

This is what happened...

In the image below, I LOVE Blee's expression. What I hate is the sun. Half of his body is in the shade and his head is in the sun, creating harsh light on the side of his face. For the image on the right, I had Jimmy chase Blee again, but this time, I made sure he was in open shade.

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 250, f 2.8, 1/500)

I tried getting a couple more images since Blee was in such a great mood, but my shutter speed was not fast enough. The shutter speed for the images below was at 1/250th of a second. Obviously, it should have been faster...maybe at 1/500th of a second. Blee's blurry hands bother me...A LOT. Sucks because I love his smile.

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 250, f 2.8, 1/250)

 Next, I tried getting Jimmy and Tatsu in front of one of the boxcars (or whatever you call them). I was trying to avoid the sun shining from behind the boxcar, which forced me to shoot with a very tight crop. I don't like this image because you can't even tell what they are posing in front of.

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 250, f 2.8, 1/400)

I backed up a bit to get more of the boxcar. I shaded my lens with my hand, but I still got some glare. Some people like the glare, and I happen to be one of them. It gives a nice nostalgic feel. If you're not a fan, you would need a lens hood to block the sun.

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 125, f 2.8, 1/400)
Blee just started to climb up the stairs by himself using the rails, so I really wanted a picture of it. The problem was, I wasn't ready. He started climbing up the stairs before I had my settings on my camera, therefore the image below is way too bright. 

Lesson : if you are shooting in the "manual" mode, have your settings ready before you let your subject loose.
Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 250, f 2.8, 1/1000)
 Now that you saw all my failed shots, here are some that I actually like...ready?

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 160, f 2.8, 1/320)

Canon 5D Mark II (ISO 250, f 2.8, 1/500)

That's it for now!


  1. Ah, little boys and trains. I'll never forget taking my son to see Thomas when he stopped over at our railroad. I have never seen such a smile! Your son is adorable.

  2. These were great.
    He looks like a little boy and not a baby. So cute!