I love my kids, and I feel blessed to be able to stay at home with them. But there are days where, toward the end of the day, I feel completely touched out and sort of nutty from kiddos crawling all over me, baby boy’s nursing and everybody’s little and big emotions that I’ve spent my waking hours regulating. I think this image captures how I sometimes feel at the end of the day rather well – the sort of fed-up expression combined with all those hands all over me.
This image was completely unplanned. My younger girl asked me today to take a photo of her with “the camera where the picture comes out right away,” (a.k.a Mamiya RZ with polaroid back) in the studio and since I don’t have a flash exposure meter, I had to bring my digital camera to the studio with me to use as a light meter. After I was done with the photo of my baby girl, I decided to take ten minutes to play around with long exposures with my digital camera. I looked absolutely not put together – no fancy clothes, no make-up – in other words only appropriate for long exposure work that is excellent at hiding all that not-so-prettiness.
It took me a few tries to find the correct shutter speed and timing of the movement of my hands to get the image to the point when I was happy with it. The magic number appeared to be 6 second shutter speed. The problem though was that I’m unable to keep my face completely still during 6 seconds so my eyes were too blurry on the shots where the hands seemed right. So I planned ahead and took a shot without moving my hands at 0.3 seconds in order to combine the eye from that shot with one of the “hands around the head” shots. I deliberately kept the shutter relatively slow on that image as well so that I would not have a super sharp eye image which would have made it difficult to blend with another image with strong motion blur.
(85mm, ISO 50, f/22, 6.0 seconds + 150ws monolight with beauty dish and 30* grid)