Most cameras designed for young children have kid-friendly designs, but eye-numbingly bad image quality. On the other hand, a cheaper point-and-shoot camera shoots better photos but probably won’t last very long in the hands of a child. A way to make a cheap digital camera more kid-friendly and durable is to use Sugru, a special kind of silicone that resembles modeling clay. Strategically cover the camera with pieces of it, and you’ll have a camera that even the most reckless child will have a hard time breaking.
Posts Tagged ‘child’
Having a hard time getting a kid to smile? Children’s photographer Jennifer Tonetti-Spellman suggests botching children’s songs on purpose to draw out natural smiles and laughs:
I always warn parents that I can be a little kooky during shoots. And to brace themselves for bad singing. Just take a song every child knows like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Now, change a word in it. “Twinkle, Twinkle little COW.” What? COW??!!” Seriously. This. Works. Every. Time.
The child cracks up and you can get some mileage out of the joke a few more times. You will start to get the smile before you even ‘fill in the blank’ after you do it once, because they anticipate the silliness. I usually do it one more time and say “Oh I am so sorry, let me try again. Twinkle Twinkle, little DUCK.” You get the picture. This works best for children who actually understand what the words are in the song, and aren’t too old yet to give you the ‘this woman is not smart’ look.
(Don’t) Say Cheese! – 5 Tips for Getting Natural Smiles [I Heart Faces]
Here’s a fun photo project you can try: recreate each of Calvin’s funny face photographs from Calvin and Hobbes. A version of this project done by a cute Asian boy was a popular viral photo a couple years ago. You can download the original Calvin montage here.
Image credit: Photographs by Sabrina and used with permission
You know the “anyone can cook” mantra spoken by Chef Gusteau in Pixar’s Ratatouille? It seems the same can be said about other forms of artistic expression as well, whether it’s photography or painting abstract pictures. Two unusual artists we featured here before were 3-year-old Ruby Ellenby and Cooper the photography-lovin’ cat. The above video shows Aelita Andre, a girl who became a professional abstract expressionist painter at the age of 3 and is called a “prodigy of color”.
Did you know that the world record for “youngest photographer” is currently held by Zoe Fung Leung of Hong Kong? She was only 2 years and 70 days old when she held an exhibition and print sale at Plaza Hollywood. If you have a child that’s younger than that, stick a camera in their hands and hire a good PR representative — the record may soon be
(via Boing Boing)
Made in the early 1960s, Fisher Price’s Picture Story Camera was the first “camera” owned by many photo-enthusiasts. They’re built out of paper-covered wood and plastic, and contained a tiny disc with eight different “photographs” that could be seen by looking through the viewfinder — similar to the View-Master, except not in 3D. To change the photo, you simply hold down the shutter and turn the “flash”, a yellow block with pictures representing the four seasons.
Getting an infant or toddler to stare into your camera lens can be a challenge, and you’re forced to compete with all kinds of sights and sounds that easily steal their gaze and attention. Camera Creatures are hand-stitched toys that attach to the front of your camera lens to give your tiny subjects something cute to look at while you photograph them. They cost $10 in this Etsy store.
For a solution that’s less cute but possibly more effective, check out the ShutterBuddy, a checkboard pattern attachment that babies can’t resist.
When American photographer Alex Soth arrived in the UK earlier this year to work on a commission for the city of Brighton‘s photo biennial, he was told by the customs officer at the airport that he couldn’t do his photography work without a work visa, and that getting caught might result in two years of jail time.
Instead of going ahead with the project anyway or calling it off, Soth decided to hand his camera over to his 7-year-old daughter Carmen. The duo strolled around Brighton for a few hours each day, with Alex directing many of Carmen’s photographs while Carmen looked to check off entries on the shooting list she made (shown above).
Here’s an unprocessed portrait I took a couple days ago.
Canon 40D + 16-35mm f/2.8 at 21mm. f/5.6, 1/125s and ISO 1600
I’m going to show you how I would go about post-processing this particular portrait of a child.
First, a little about the shot: it was taken at ISO 1600. Big mistake. I was constantly moving between indoors and outdoors, so dropping the ISO slipped my mind. If I had gone down to something like 800 or 400, I could have reduced a lot of noise and obtained stronger colors.
I was also being lazy and shooting in Program mode. If I had shot it wide open at f/2.8, the background could have been thrown out of focus more.
The sun was somewhere overhead behind the child, and there was a wall directly behind me, which was bouncing a good amount of light into his eyes. Eyes that lack any sparkle often appear dull, two-dimensional, and lifeless.
Anyhow, the portrait was very candid and wasn’t set up at all. Now, onto post-processing:
First, I open up the photograph in Adobe Camera Raw, and make the following adjustments:
White Balance: Upped the temperature from 4200 to 4700 to bring a little warmth back into the shot. The As Shot looked too cool.
Exposure: +50 to expose the shot a little more. If the background was completely blown out, I would have left this untouched to avoid too much clipping back there.
Recovery: +50 to recover many of the clipped areas in the background and a few areas in the foreground. (tip: toggle clipping indication with the U and O keys).
Fill Light: +10. This adds a little more “light” to the shadow areas of the shot, but also reduces contrast, since it turned many of the darkest areas into gray.
Blacks: +15 to set the darkest of the gray areas into true black, recovering a good amount of the black we lost through the Fill Light slider.
Brightness: Left unchanged.
Contrast: Upped this to +50 to make the photograph more contrasty. The original was pretty flat.
Clarity: +30. For photos with slightly blown out backgrounds like this one, I like to increase clarity a little to add a little more contrast to areas like the tree leaves.
Vibrance: Left untouched. After the previous steps, the photograph seemed saturated enough.
Also sharpened the photo a little and added some vignetting (about -50 for amount with midpoint at 25).
This is the resulting JPEG that Adobe Camera Raw spit out after making the above modifications (hover over it to compare it to the unprocessed version):
Finally, I give the kid’s eyes a little boost in brightness. There’s lots of ways to go about doing this, but usually I like to use the masked curves adjustment layer technique I learned from David over at chromasia.
Here’s the resulting photo after I boost the eyes (hover over it to see what the eyes boost did):
Pretty subtle, but a little extra glow in the eyes does help a lot. Hover over this link to see the mask that I used to apply a curve only to the eyes. You can also hover over this link to compare the final photograph with the original, unprocessed photo.