The Gallery: a photo I'm proud of

25 Aug

Sometimes a photo just springs to mind and I can’t see past it… so I’ll not bother trying.

This is the first ever photo I remember being chuffed with. It was taken back in the days of film and I can’t for the life of me remember the camera – one of those new fangled panoramic point and shoots I guess. It was taken in early summer 2000, just before my daughter and niece started school and my son started pre-school. Way back in the days when my sister and I could squeeze ourselves and our four children into a Fiat Uno and head for the beach knowing full well we’d get it all to ourselves.


I worked mornings and my sister helped with ferrying my two back and forth between school and nursery and filling in the gaps with looking after them at home. Every afternoon we were free to explore, no ties, no timescales, no hometime.

Then formal education came along and put a stop to it all.

And here I am again 10 years later, back clinging onto the last few afternoons I have with Paul before I institutionalise him for 6 hours a day 5 days a week. Sometimes I wish it were otherwise, sometimes I can’t wait. Just part of the parenting rollercoaster I guess.

I am also rather proud of this oft blogged photo. It was the first shot I nailed indoors and without flash. Looking back the crop ratio is a bit shaming and totally unsuitable for print but I remember it as the day that the exposure triangle of ISO, exposure and aperture just “clicked” into place.

Now I’m almost at the stage where I can get 15-20 shots I am happy with out of a session. People are even beginning to ask me to take photos of their children. They’re offering me money but bollocks to that, for now it’s a hobby. I’ll maybe spend the next year building up a body of work. Who knows where it will take me? Maybe nowhere but it should be fun either way. After all, now that all my children are institutionalised I have some spare time (for now!).


40 Responses to “The Gallery: a photo I'm proud of”

  1. Working Mum August 25, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    Thank you for that post. I love hearing about other people’s photographic experiences. I’m still at the stage of accidentally taking a good one. I’ev bought the camera but can’t make time to learn how to use it. I even got as far as enquiring about classes at night school, but who am I kidding – when would I have time for that? I’ll keep persevering with my “DSLR for Dummies” book!

  2. TheMadHouse August 25, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    What wonderful shots, I love the first one, it is just everything time at the beech is. Hope you are up for talking some shots of the boys in a couple of weeks time at Butlins!!

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

      Definitely – looking forward to it (oh please let the sun shine!) 🙂

  3. Plan B August 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Like working mum I’m definitely still at the “accidental” stage, although I do occasionally take the settings off auto… Nice to see where you came from, as it were. And lovely shots, as always, too – what’s wrong with the crop ratio? (what’s a crop ratio – sounds like corn, then wheat, then barley to me….)

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

      Sounds like breakfast to me! Nah – I have since learned to crop them in the same ratio I would print them – or near as damn – so 10×8 or 7×5 – usually 7.5×5 is my favourite – makes it much easier to print them without having to cut more out.

      So… I am feeling the need to see if anyone’s up for a Scottish Photowalk – I enjoyed the one in Kissimmee – must blog it so you can get the gist of what happens on one – though my effort would have waaaaay more wine 🙂

      • Plan B August 25, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

        Oh! Yes please! Sign me up, and then don’t hate me when I turn up with the sort of camera where the instruction book says “point and squirt”… I’m VERY good at drinking wine though.

        • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm #

          Oh my dear you sound like my kind of photowalk companion – let’s find a Saturday after the Festival is over and get this diaried for Edinburgh 🙂

  4. Mirka Moore August 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Wow, stunning photos. The black and white one is the winner for me, what a great shot 😉

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      Cheers m’dear – I think it’ll be a favourite of mine forever – I better not trash the 4 hard drived I have it backed up to 🙂

  5. Michelle Twin Mum August 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    What great photos. That first one of the children playing is divine. You are so right about hwo it all chanegs ocne the kids are in school – much less freedom in one way and lots more in another.

    Mich x

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

      So true – school is so tying – I hate having a schedule! But the days? What will I do with them?? 🙂

  6. Nickie@Typecast August 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I love that beach shot – so simple yet so poignant 🙂

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

      Cheers Nickie – I’ve always liked the photo but never really wrote about it or thought about it, looking back it is rather sad in a way. And not sad in a way. Yeah that 🙂

  7. Marianne August 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Hello Mrs W – long time no see! I’ve had a manic summer. Beautiful photos as usual, I really must move from auto to manual, every time I see your blog I’m closer to doing it. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

      Oh yeah me too – manic and not nearly long enough 🙂

      I don’t mind manual – with bouncy kids and light coming from allwhere and anywhere sometimes you can’t beat it – I still use it plenty, especially in the summer when I am in and out from dark to light and always forget to reset my ISO. What camera do you have? I didn’t go straight to Manual from Auto, I spend a while mucking around on the “P” setting on my Nikon. Then I played with “A” aperture priority to get the hang of its effects and “S” shutter priority to see what it did. Only then did I step up to full Manual. I made the transition in very definite steps, I’m not normally so methodical so I don’t know what came over me!

      • Marianne August 26, 2010 at 8:24 am #

        I have a Fuji FINEPIX S8100. I have no idea if that’s a good one or not but it’s definitely a step up from my old Olympus digital box like type.
        It didn’t come with a book explaining all of the settings although I could probably find it online somewhere.
        I like your idea of trying one at a time (probably the best!) so I’ll have a go at P’ing’ this week 🙂 (Like that little joke?)

        • mrsw August 26, 2010 at 10:02 am #

          My sister has a Finepic S800, she loves it and gets many terrific shots with it. You should search on Flickr for your model and see what people are doing with it – the Flickr community is probably one of the most supportive for sharing and learning

  8. Marylin August 25, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    They are both gorgeous! Also.. you know how I asked about those engagement photies… think you could take some of all of us instead? Will be easier than trying to find a sitter for Max! lol 🙂 xx
    I’m also thinking of trying to build up a bit of a portfolio I suppose you could call it now. Thanks to my 35mm lens that actually autofocuses! 😉

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

      I’m dying for a wee shot of that 35mm 🙂

  9. Barbara August 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    I like the sound of that Plan B lady!

    When’s your photowalk going to be then? Sometime in the spring? Wine, you say?

    Brilliant photo’s. I’d never really thought of crop ratio but I see what you mean.

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

      Hehe – me too

      Probably before that Barbara but that does not mean there won’t be another in Spring – just bring your big camera this time.

      Took me a while to figure the crop ratio thing – it was a real DUH moment.

  10. Brighton Mum-Teenage Angst August 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    I love, love, love the 2nd shot. Beautiful! I am now suffering photo envy…

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

      Aw thank you – it looks like he’s all deep and thoughtful but he was actually sad and huffing cos I wouldn’t let him on the PS3 🙂

  11. Parklover August 25, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    That’s a great shot on the beach. I’m loving packing my daughter into the car and going to the beach when the weather is decent, even though it’s an hour away. It’s taken me a long time to realise it’s even that close though – in my head I’m still in the West Mids, hours from the coast.In a year’s time she’ll be institutionalised too. Sob.

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

      I love it up here – you’re never far away from the coast – might have to traverse a wee twisty road to get there but see if you were a crow? Piece of cake.

      I look at my sleeping son (no choice – he still won’t fall asleep on his own and rarely lasts a night in his bed) and marvel at how we pack them off for most of their waking hours for most of the week when they’ve only been alive for 5 years – 5 years!! 60 months!! What the hell?? I;ve had bank loans longer than that.

  12. Gappy August 25, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    You have such a photogenic little boy. I’m surprised to hear that you’re not a professional photographer – I’d assumed you were. Your talent is undeniable – I’m so envious. I can’t take photos to save my life!

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm #

      Yup – and I dread the day he goes all “Don’t you dare point that thing at me” on me – it will happen. I will cry.

  13. Caroline (Frogmum) August 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    HELLO MrsW ~ nice to see you again!! Great shots! It’s lovely when the imperfect pictures also hold the memories. I have TONNES of shots I love from ‘back then!’. I wonder if your camera was one of those ADVANTIX (drop the film in) ones ~ I had one too. Thought it was FAB at the time 🙂 Your ‘aha’ photo is beautiful too ~ and a tribute to your abilities..!

    I had a look at your GIMP tutorial ~ very clever. I use LR3 (just bought it) and PSE7 a lot, but I still LOVE Gimp ~ it has some things that PSE just doesn’t and some of it’s tools are easier/more comprehensive to use. LR3 however is almost always my first port of call these days ~ it’s so quick and easy ~ and fabulous!!

    About son#1 ~ I’ve answered on MY blog 🙂

    • mrsw August 25, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

      That’s the beastie – Advantix – oh how I loved the control – being able to pick the size of my photo was rather exciting – I am easily excited 😉

  14. If I Could Escape August 26, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Fabulous, just fabulous! I love them both. And, that beach looks amazing!

    • mrsw August 26, 2010 at 9:52 am #

      Duh – forgot to mention it’s at Elie on the north Fife coast – it is indeed a lovely beach, with a fab little pub overlooking it – yes it gets better and better 🙂

  15. anka August 26, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Film photos make such wonderful memories. They are more vibrant and more alive than digital. But I might be biased…
    The flash-less portrait looks wonderful!

    • mrsw August 26, 2010 at 9:53 am #

      I always regret never having learned to use film – though I did find an old Praktica BC1 of MrW’s stashed away at the bottom of the wardrobe last year – perhaps it’s not too late? 🙂

  16. Trish@ Mum's Gone to August 26, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    Ah it’s lovely to pop over here to see your photographs. We had a couple of days on a lakeside beach on holiday and I realised I hadn’t had my tootsies in the sand for a couple of years! Had forgotten how much the coast means to me.

    I’m enjoying the school holidays too – I don’t see my boy until he surfaces at lunchtime but it’s lovely having him around.

    • mrsw August 26, 2010 at 9:56 am #

      The Gallery very much shows that we are a nation of coast lovers doesn’t it? I doubt I could stand living in the middle of a huge landmass without easy access to the sea – and I don’t even swim! And I hate boats! The mind boggles 😉

  17. bubbleboo August 26, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Oh, I love that first shot – the lighting is awesome! And my crop ratio is *always* terrible. Seriously, I love the way it looks arty, but never think about how I’m going to print the thing!

  18. Priness_L_88 August 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    As always, beautiful photos. You don’t have enough confidence in your own abilities you know!

  19. sister3 August 27, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    the 1st picture is full of tenderness, of time stopped, of life !!!!
    And I find the 2nd beautiful, It would be a poster on my wall if I were you (and I’m not, no no no, cause YOU know why the pictures you take are good, technically I mean
    I just happen to “feel it” wich is not enough !

  20. Spudballoo August 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Sniff…I loved this post SO MUCH…speaks to me so clearly. Both photos are wondeful but OH that portrait of your boy is stunning. SPOT ON xx

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