JoziFolk - images of everyday life in South Africa

 

If you want to shoot kids you must become a hunter! 

  

Not too long ago I was chatting to a salesman in a camera shop as he showed me a top-of-the-line DSLR camera making waves in the photographic media.

"It's primarily designed for studio and event work," he said.

I asked why?

"It's maximum shooting rate is only eight frames per second," he replied, "so it's pretty useless for sports photography."

I smiled, nodded and said nothing. There'd be no point debating or arguing the issue with someone not yet born when we were shooting sports events for newspapers with manual-wind-on Pentax K1000s or Nikon FMs.

Anticipation

 It wasn't about burst speed but rather about anticipation and critical moments, much the same as a hunter who studies, knows and anticipates the movement and habits of his or her prey.

 And coincidentally I came across and article on Digital Photography School that speaks covers that exactly. Written by Ryan Pendleton, a semi-professional photographer, husband and father of two, the piece explains how he had to change his approach to that of a stealthy hunter, in order to get the shots of his kids that he wanted.

 "When I first began the journey of documenting my children’s lives, my methods for doing so were ineffective," he writes. "Whether the scene was ‘created’ for the purpose of the photograph, or I caught my children in a natural setting, I would go after the end-result with a rapid-fire intensity, hoping one of the many images captured would result in success.

 "Sometimes I would get lucky and catch the optimal moment with one of my stray shots. Other times, I would realize immediately before, or after, I’d pressed the shutter that the best frame had evaded capture. 

 "What an awful feeling it is to have your prize slip through your fingers, never to be seen again," Pendelton writes.

Target in my sights

 Something had to change.

 "Over time, my approach to photography evolved," he writes.

 "Instead of aggressively spraying bullets into the woods, I now calmly sit back and monitor the scene. Rather than attempting to control the scene and my subjects, I now try to take the best photos the situation will naturally allow, without my overt intervention.

 "I am a hunter. My prey, however, does not scurry through the woods, fly through the sky or swim in the streams. My trophies are instead moments, which I stalk, camera at the ready. When the time is right, the target is placed squarely in my sights. Click."

 I could not have said it better

 Pendelton goes on to list a number of tips required to become a better hunter. It's an article well-worth reading and taking to heart.

Read Pendleton's article here