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Thursday, September 9, 2010


See how shooting from just the right angle makes an impossible physical feat look real.

A young boy appears stretched across the car as his head emerges from one side and his brother’s feet from the other in Lowell, Ma. (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
I watched two boys playing energetically in a parked car for several minutes as I tried to imagine the best possible picture. Initially I couldn’t envision any particularly high potential photo opportunity, so I didn’t even take out my camera. Suddenly, one kid stuck his head out of the passenger window and the other hung his feet out of the driver’s side. For that split instant, you couldn’t clearly see the two separate bodies, and it looked like one kid was stretched horizontally across the entire car. The kids quickly moved on to other play, but that previous moment sparked a photo idea. I pulled out my camera and long lens, staying at a distance, but waited in vain as the moment did not reoccur. Finally, I walked up, asked them to do it again, stood further back framing the photo, and crouched down until the entire rear window was so dark you couldn’t see the shapes that revealed it was two kids, not one.

3 Tips:
1) Be patient to watch kids playing for awhile because they often provide completely unexpected photo opportunities.
2) If you miss a great photo moment, it’s OK to set the subjects up and ask them to do it again.
3) Use different angles or lighting to create additional effects or hide undesired details.

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