A Special Boy at Christmas

So, I photographed my wife’s work’s “Dinner with Santa” where all the kids of her colleagues were able to be photographed with Santa.  It was a new experience to have to photograph people posing, especially children, but overall, I think the night went well.  On top of that, one of my wife’s friends has a son named Adam who is about 3.  He has a muscular disorder that slightly affects the way he looks and his ability to do a few things, but he is 100% the sweetest child you will ever meet.  He’s never met a stranger, and he thought the big expensive camera was the coolest thing ever. (Not to mention I was borrowing expensive equipment for the night, over 1,500 dollars worth of photo equipment).

Anyway, when it was all done, he had come up to me and pointed to the camera and said “My?” and I said, “No, you can’t have it.” and then he looked at me and said, “Peas?” and it just melted my heart.  Anyway, I let him take a few photos with me holding him and the camera, and then I asked if he wanted his picture taken, and he very excitedly looked at me and said, “Peas!” and ran over by the Christmas Tree.  So here are two photos of the amazing child, Adam.  The first is a photo that I took laying on the ground next to him using the Sigma 50mm lens that I was borrowing.

Canon T3i: ISO 1250, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/80 sec.

This is by far one of my new favorite photos, I love the bokeh as it moves away from his head, but the detail of the carpet near him.  I love the angle of him looking to me and the gentleness in his face and the blurred presents behind him.  This is one of my favorite photos I have taken compositionally.  I had to do some serious editing to get this one visible, because apparently, I still had my camera taking bracketed photos from the HDR that I took (and will show next).  This ended up being the “underexposed” image, so there was work to do.

The Fill Light is at 52, the Exposure was increased .6 and to add to the softness of the overall shot, I lowered the default contrast from +25 to +10 (In Lightroom).

I also changed the Tone Curve to Linear so that there wasn’t any harshness.

The second shot I am going to show, he actually took before this one, but I wanted to place it second.  It is an HDR made of just two exposures.  The  medium one seemed to detract for some reason, so I just have the really light and the really dark in there.  What this gave me was a well exposed child, as well as lights that glow but aren’t glaring and the bows are almost luminescent in a lot places.  I again used photomatix for the HDR processing, and the imported it back into Lightroom for final editing.  I just like the fact that this shot is almost entirely lit by Christmas lights, and I love his expression in front of the tree.  Also one of my favorite photos that I have taken.

Canon T3i: Bracketed Exposures, Bright Photo – ISO 3200, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/50 sec, Dark Photo – ISO 250, 50mm, f/2.0, 1/60 sec

Anyway, I hope everyone else enjoys this, this little guy put so much joy into the experience of photographing children for me that it made the entire night worthwhile.

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4 responses to “A Special Boy at Christmas

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