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Father-Son How Done
Not a how-to
The conditions for taking this photo in Red Bank Park were challenging, but the effort was worthwhile.
The park is green and thick with vegetation only this time of the year. After about a month the growth will start to thin out in the heat and suffer from any lack of rain. It's impossible to make a similar photo any other time of the year because the background seen through thinner vegetation is distracting and cluttered. I’d waited all year for this.
The scene must be backlit, but not so much that shadows from trees across the lagoon fall on the subjects. Timing is crucial; just thirty minutes later, the father and son would be in shadow. The backlight casts the trees on this side of the lagoon into silhouette, their dark forms framing the brightly lit subjects.
There are enough of shadows that the subjects have a rim light from the sun to separate them from the background. That gives them depth from the water and background.
The backlight also throws the trees on this side of the lagoon into darkness. The darkness, especially the shadow at the bottom edge, acts as frames for the main subjects, both in bright light. Even if the light were perfect, which it isn't in this frame, there has to be a subject in the opening.
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My shooting style is one of discovery, observation, and a willingness to wait until everything comes together. Until the moment of awe arrives.
Every angler at Red Bank has a favored spot, a lucky charm until the fish stop biting. I patiently waited for that moment of disappointment to nudge this father and son into my frame.
I would have preferred that they be about one step to the left but the shoreline around the roots was eroded making the center position uncomfortable and difficult.
Where I stood was important. I wanted to include the small branch at the top as a framing device to keep the viewer's eye in movement.
Missing in the final edit is the top of the original uncropped photo. It includes an open sky through breaks in the trees. They were distracting and didn't add anything to telling the story of this moment. I cropped it out.
It was also important to have some sense of action with the subjects. Their rods and posture matched at the right moment.
There was another possibility for My Final Photo. Also at Red Bank.
This photo was made with my iPhone using the FIMO app and edited in Snapseed. I liked the shape of the man, leaning forward, in action, headed somewhere. I liked the father and son better.
My Final Photo was shot with the 18-140mm lens at 27mm on the Nikon Z50. 400th of a second, f5, ISO 320,
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