On a nice, sunny day in spring, the kids and I took ourselves to the park. Now I find the park to be one of the most boring places on the planet, right up there with doctor's office waiting rooms and high school Spanish class. To counteract the boredom, I took along my iPod and my camera.
Bear in mind that when shooting pictures at the park I use a sort of faith-based method of photography. Due to the glare, my sunglasses and blurriness, I can't actually see the subjects in the viewfinder beyond a vague outline, so I line up my shot, pray that the autofocus behaves itself and shoot. Then I take 30 more shots for good measure.
Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Often I get home and find that the grass just in front of my daughter looks gorgeous and crisp, but the child herself, along with her tricycle that she insisted on riding through the thick grass look blurry.
It gets closer, like this one where it chose the tree. Perhaps I can chalk it up to some sort of artistic statement and to be honest, I think the texture of the tree bark looks really nice. You have to be flexible when you use this method.
Shooting from several yards away has its distinct disadvantages in another way. There's no knowing when the kid's looking toward me, which in the case of Little Mister happened not once. I got about 567 shots of the back of his head, sometimes with a hood, sometimes without.
Then, once in a while a shot like this jumps onto my computer screen from my camera and suddenly all is right with the world.
Sometimes, it just happens. The color, the focus, the expression of impishness. It makes me so glad I brought my camera to the park today.
Then, when everything works just right, there are simply other priorities than portraiture. It's okay. A boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do.