There comes a time when every parent must let their little ones go to experience the world for themselves. First, however, you might need to throw them from the nest for some flying lessons.

Ok, so our little girl hasn’t really shown much aptitude for flying yet – not for lack of trying though, I can assure you that, she kind of assumes someone will be there to catch her when she steps off a high place – but that doesn’t mean you can’t give her a few flying lessons. The main reason for doing this was just so I could capture her cute expression – I know, it’s yet another post about how cute my daughter is, but you should actually thank her. If it wasn’t for my daughter, my wife wouldn’t have asked me to research a new camera to take nice pictures of her and I would never have discovered how interesting photography is and would never have started this blog in the first place.

Anyways, flying lessons; these shots were taken while me and my wife took turns throwing the little muppet in the air. The light is pretty standard fare: LP160 in umbrella from camera left and LP160 in softbox from camera right, coming in from behind the subject. The main change here that I haven’t done before was to use a softbox for the rim light. I did this simply to soften it up a bit. I think it works pretty well so I’ll probably be using that technique again in the future.

Flying babySo no big surprises as far as the light is concerned. The most difficult part of this little photo shoot actually turned out to get things in focus. I shot this with my 85mm lens to get some decent working distance and thought that f8 should be plenty enough to get things sharp. I’m sure it would have been as well, for a stationary subject. The problem here was that the subject was moving rather fast, which meant that I couldn’t focus during the shot. I had to prefocus and then hope the baby would be thrown into view at the same distance she had been when I focused. It didn’t work very well at first. The little one is getting heavier so my wife was having trouble holding her up so I could focus. After a while we switched so I held the baby instead and that worked better. However, my wife isn’t really used to handling the camera so she had some trouble with the framing and we ended up with several shots of the flier at the edge of the frame. We then switched again and this time managed some in focus, centered shots.

Flying babyTo complicate, or at least prolong, things even further, the batteries in one of my flashes was getting bad so the recycling times were rather long, resulting in tired arms, an impatient wife and a squirming daughter. I had fresh batteries at home but, being lazy and cheap, I wanted to wait to change them until I had squeezed a bit more from the old ones.

Perhaps we’ll have some more flying lessons in the future, though it would probably be more prudent to work on the landings instead. If you have any babies lying around, try tossing them around a bit, I can almost guarantee that at least one of you will be entertained by it. Next time we’ll have a look at something that might be of help if you’re looking for something to brighten your day a bit.


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