by Harry Flashman
They don’t call it the “Wet Season” for no reason
We’ve just had the tail end of a cyclone and did it ever dump some rain
on our city. One evening it was almost impossible to get anywhere as
there was deep water across all the major roads. My seven minute trip
from the office to home took one hour, several detours and back-tracking
Now, for most of us, cameras and rain don’t seem to naturally sit
together, but if you throw away that aversion to water, there are many
photo opportunities for something just a little different. But it does
mean you have to look for those different images.
During the constant rain the other afternoon I walked around the house
just taking in the different images. Some of them were very different
and would have people saying “What is that?”
So what did I see? The rain making circles on the surface of the little
pond with my two tame catfish hiding from the drops (seems like they
didn’t want to get wet)! Another was beads of water on the boot lid of
the car and when I looked up, there was a leak from the drainpipe and
that produced some very interesting images and I have printed one here.
I experimented with different shutter speeds and also taking shots with
and without flash. These all produced different images, and is something
every photographer can do, by taking the camera off “Auto” and just
seeing what you get. One shot of raindrops on the boot lid looked like
the surface of the moon with over-exposure.
But back to the shot I used here, the down-pipe. I began just taking the
water coming from the bend in the pipe, but then I turned the camera 45
degrees and it began to look like an airplane with fuel pouring out from
the fuselage. OK, you have to use your imagination a bit, but that is
what makes photography so interesting. This is as apart from taking
“record” shots of the children at the temple.
Children and rainy weather do present some wonderful opportunities.
During the heavy rains, there were children in little creeks beside the
road, having a wonderful time. Many children to photograph, as long as
you were prepared to get wet too. But here comes the problem. You may
know you are trying to get the best shot ever of little Johnny, but
little Johnny doesn’t know it. And what’s more, doesn’t care! With a
short attention span, he is not going to stand still long enough for you
to fiddle around with camera settings, flash settings and exposure
mathematics. No, when photographing children, use the Auto setting on
your camera, and that is one of the few times I will recommend that
setting! No, to get a good kid pic means that you have to be totally set
up and ready for that nano-second of opportunity.
Let’s look at the equipment needed first. In general, the further away
you get, the more natural the photograph you will get, as the child does
not see you in the proximity. So, a small zoom lens (35-70) works very
well in this situation as you can get far enough away from the child
without invading the child’s ‘personal space’ and producing shyness or
forced behavior, but longer is better. In my case, I use a 135 mm lens
for kid pix (as I didn’t want to get my feet wet either).
Some photographers swear by Auto-focus (AF) for this type of shot, but
personally I find that the noise is distracting for children. The
“whiz-whizz” and then a correct focus ‘beep’ distracts for the three
point four milliseconds attention span children have, and then they are
off again. However, the newer AF cameras (lenses) are much quieter and
are probably the best in this situation.
When it is raining, it really does mean another photographic opportunity
to get different shots. Since we get bright sun for 11 months a year,
make the most of the rain!
It is a simple case of being prepared and then just jumping in to get
the shots, with kids don’t stage manage, and lots of luck!
Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]
Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.