The Fruits of His Labor
After we finished trick-or-treating, Jason got his first taste of Halloween candy. I'm not quite sure, but I think he liked it.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens, and Nikon SB-400 flash, in manual exposure mode, automatic (eTTL) flash mode. Aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/250 sec, ISO 400, flash tilt 90 degrees, flash exposure compensation -1 EV. Post-processing in Aperture 3: auto WB, picked from the white of his vest; cropped to vertical; cloned out some spots on his face; curve to increase brightness and contrast; burned background; applied light skin smoothing over his cheeks and forehead.
Thoughts for improvement: Really, this isn't a very good photo, artistically speaking. The composition is boring, the background is cluttered and the framing is pretty poor. There should be a little more room above his head and his arms really shouldn't be cut off. It's pretty much just a snapshot, albeit a relatively well-lit snapshot. The expression is priceless, though.
Trick or Treat
We took Jason trick-or-treating for the first time this year, with some friends and their kids. Neither of us were sure how it would go, whether he'd have fun or whether he'd fall apart quickly. The previous times we'd put him in his costume, he started taking it off again within minutes, so we didn't expect much. Turns out, he loved it. After the first couple of houses he was pulling us along down the street, running up to each door and shouting "Trick or treat!" before he even got up the driveway. By the time we were halfway around the block his pumpkin bucket was too heavy for him to carry, but he still kept going. What's more, he kept his costume on the whole time. It was a lot of fun.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/1.8, shutter 1/125, ISO 1600. Post-processing in Aperture 3: cropped and rotated; daylight WB preset; curve for contrast, tone, and highlight recovery; burned the background.
Thoughts for improvement: I'd be interested to see what this would look like on a camera with better high-ISO performance and a higher resolution. (Though, if I'd taken a step forward I could have saved some pixels and not had to crop.) I'd also like to see what it would look like with sharper focus. Still, the grainy look from the high-ISO noise and the softness give it a kind of retro look, which I tried to enhance with the white balance and tone. I think it works relatively well. The only thing that kind of bugs me is the way that the bucket is out of focus, which is due to the wide-open aperture. If I had a camera with better low-light performance, I might have been able to get this at f/2.8 or maybe even f/4, which would have kept the whole subject in focus.
Jason, like most kids his age, goes nuts for stickers. What I'm not sure is quite as common is the fact that as soon as he gets his hands on some, he starts sticking them all over his body. As you can see, he particularly likes to put them on his belly. And then show them to everybody.
Technical information: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, in aperture priority exposure mode (matrix metering). Aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/250 (+0 EV), ISO 800. Post-processing in Aperture 3: a little bit of straightening and a curve to bring up exposure and contrast.
Thoughts for improvement: I honestly can't think of anything. I love this shot.
My Latest at Life As A Human: Credibility Vs. Transparency
"Credibility Vs. Transparency: A Closer Look at NPR and Its Ethics Code":
Twice in the past month, NPR (National Public Radio) has found itself in hot water over the application of its ethics policy. Two weeks ago, they drew criticism over a memo sent from the news department to staffers reminding them, among other things, that they were not allowed to attend Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’s upcoming rallies. Then, last week, they fired long-time news analyst Juan Williams after some remarks he made on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. In both cases, the network came under fire for political bias and for stifling free speech.