My family photo albums are starting to look like I abandoned my family and left them with my camera on all the right settings. This has to change in 2017.
I won't call it a new year's resolution, more of a mission statement; to make it sound more important. I am already busy taking way too many photos, but there is nothing to suggest that I was ever there. Last year I took around 20,000 photos, and the above is the only photo that I set up and actively put myself into the shot. It isn't a perfect shot, but in years to come it will gain more meaning.
I am not talking about taking more self-ies, I am talking about more group-ies. More group shots and family shots with me in them. This isn't about justifying buying new equipment that will make this possible, ever since digital cameras have been about there has been a self-timer, and I have had a tripod this whole time. It just doesn't feel right when there is no one behind the camera! It also seems a bit of a faff, and the anticipation of camera's timer beep getting faster and faster - I am not sure how much longer I can hold this smile for before I blink!
My new year's resolution, I mean mission statement, is off to a strong start - I already have quite a few images banked. My daughter Chloe is difficult to coordinate for photos as it is, however seeing herself on the screen holds her attention for long enough, plus I let her trip the shutter - I guess she could take credit for the photos?!? I am starting off simple, iphone with the front camera on a hand-held telescopic camera mast (more commonly known as a selfie-stick); and the results are positive. I have another recent toy, the go pro 5, which is voice activated.
I clamp the camera to the bike frame and off we go to the park. When we get there, I jump onto the available swing next to Chloe as she shouts, "Go Pro, take a photo". This is all going to plan. I clamp it to the shopping trolley in Tesco and as we go down the fruit isle, Chloe asks the Go Pro where the magazines are in Tesco; I don't think she quite understands how limited the commands are...but it makes me laugh anyway.
I also have a DJI Osmo also, which is a hand-held stabilised camera; which has a selfie mode on it. Unfortunately some genius made the minimum focusing distance on it 1m, so it is not ideal. Not a great option for what I am trying to achieve.
Chloe, my most photographed subject, is no longer excited by the prospect of being photographed, so I have to find new and inventive ways of getting her eyes looking down the lens. But an obvious difference is that she doesn't mind being photographed or filmed when my face isn't obscured by a camera. Hence the iphone working so well. The self-timer on it gives her a count-down from ten and she took the photo - she is both participating and entertained.
I will never be entirely satisfied with the quality of the iphone front camera or the stills from a Go Pro, so I convinced the lady who holds the key to Canon's warehouse (my wife), that I need a camera that has a flip out screen. If you sell some of your other cameras is the response I get. Apparently I have too many cameras...which to photographers doesn't really make any sense at all. Stay tuned to find out how I get on with the new purchase - which will be the follow up piece to this blog.
I think a lot of photographers are guilty of not being in the shot as much as we should be, and an iphone photo in this instance is a lot better than no record of you ever being there. So buy a mini tripod, a bean bag or ask a stranger to include you in the photo next time you are out with friends and family.
Thanks for reading.