Charlie and the dog: childrens portraits in Tokyo
© 2013 Alfie Goodrich. All rights reserved.

The Lecture

I took Charlie and Ami out for a few hours last weekend, down to a great park and beach area in Heiwajima.

Charlie had a great time running around and playing on the huge, long slide that's there.

A fella was walking his dog nearby. Charlie locked-on to the little chap for about ten minutes, dashing around and making friends.

Got three or four shots but this moment was by far the best.

Handy tip for taking pics of little people and animals: get down on your knees and shoot. This puts you in their world. Shooting from an adult's head height is not, IMHO, the best way to shoot these subjects.

Plus, attention to detail is everything if you want good photos. The difference between a good and a great photo is often minute: a few mms, a few cms.

In this case I was very conscious of keeping Charlie's profile on a clean section of background. When his finger went out, to point at the dog, I adjusted my view rapidly by a couple of centimetres to make sure that I had his finger and hand against as clean a white in the background as I could. A good rule of thumb is to get into the habit, when shooting people, of quickly checking around their outline before you push the button. Checking for lines or objects that cut into the profile or checking, in this case, for the best viewpoint so that you get clarity of background for the most important parts of the scene... i.e. the pointy finger

Nikon D700
85mm f/2 AiS
Monochrome done in-camera


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  1. That's dying for a caption…

    "You are not going out dressed like that!"

  2. Good choice of field depth, really makes you focus on the subjects.

  3. Thanks. Second nature, +Gerard de Vries. Haven't used this old 85mm for a while. f/2 is tough on subjects that aren't really close to the camera, as this lens is manual-focus. Plus, like most lenses, this one has its first sweet-spot [of sharpness and bokeh together] one stop in from wide open; i.e. f/2.8.. which is where I shot this.

  4. Yeah, +Steve Jaszczak. Perhaps they share a tailor….

  5. Hahaha! Sooo cute! (Thanks for the tips, too! )

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