The lookout, the vice grip and the smile

January 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Blur.  The photographer in me recognizes that this image is a technical train wreck.  The mom in my recognizes the capture of a moment of pure childhood joy.  My youngest son's vice grip on his big brother, my middle guy perched in the back, the lookout, and my oldest, a smile he couldn't fake if he tried.  :)  When I photograph my boys, I use those opportunities to grow as a photographer while creating tangible moments of memory.  This is one of those images that I was drawn to immediately because of the emotion in their faces and the roles they're each filling on that sled.  I kept coming back to this photograph because I honestly couldn't believe I'd captured their personalities as they careened down the hill, and I was in awe of that.  My middle son is the lookout; he keeps an eye on his brothers and is a protector of my youngest.  My youngest looks up to both big brothers, but recognizes the strength in my oldest and the safety and guidance he represents.  And my oldest is the leader and also a protector. He's so aware of the other boys and as much as he can, leads by example.

As my awe subsided a bit, I allowed myself to view this image from a technical standpoint, to recognize that the focus fell on my lookout's winter boot and the tail of his coat.  To recognize that the incredible blur wasn't due entirely to the speed at which they flew down the hill, but to my settings, an aperture that was open too wide, a shutter speed to slow..

Do I wish I'd nailed the focus?  avoided the blur?  Of course!  Am I over it?  Of course!  The moment trumps the technicalities and that is purely good.


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