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Old Jul 24, 2007, 1:51 AM   #1
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I don't really understand this desire for coming down to a child's eye viewpoint, and I've liked all those shots where that was suggested just as they are. I suppose it depends on who the intended viewers are to be. If it's for the child to admire, himself or herself, fine, but...

...My memories of my children, (now 23 and 15 and looking me straight in the eye or worse), when they were small, stored in my gently decaying neuronal connections, were largely shot from a high viewpoint. Although they are definitely snapshots, they most certainly fulfil all the normal requirements of portraits.

The occasions I remember when I'm kneeling down to their level are often ones I'dprefer not to remember, asI'm busy repairing damage of some kind; medical, food-related cosmetic, or emotional.

Here's a not terribly good example, from a filmscanned negative of 7 years ago, where I did kneel down, deliberately intending to make my 8-year son look grown up. Now he's 15 the shirt is never tucked in.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 4:38 AM   #2
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Alan,

I think the dictum about not standing over the child as a compositional technique to be avoided comes from the appearance that it suggests a degree of authority that as a photographer you should be minimizing.

Also even tho cited as another reason, it tends to make the children more responsive. I've never found this to be universally true since most kids are accustomed to adults looking down and interacting with them. Kneeling down doesn't seem to significantly fix this.

I tend to take the more practical approach, if standing or kneeling works use it. Children sometimes will respond to other things in the environment unrelated to our stance.

The picture looks good even as a scanned archival shot.

Aloha
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 8:33 AM   #3
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selvin wrote:
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...appearance that it suggests a degree of authority...
Thanks for the comments, Selvin. The lovely kids we've seen in this Challenge obviously weren't intimidated, were they!

This (definitely not a portrait) is the pained "Not again, Dad" expressionI get now when trying to photograph the young waistcoated gentleman above. Maybe I need to stand on a box, or maybe a ladder, to express adequate authority.

I've left the banner alongside to see whether tullio can translate it after his recent Welsh adventures, of which I hope to see more around Steve's forums. How about 'British Castles' for the next challenge? Bet you'd all produce a fine crop from your holidays!
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 2:05 PM   #4
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Think about this. We often shoot photos of kids from an elevated position because that is a natural thing to do considering the height difference. However, portraits of adults are generally shot straight on. In my opinion, it is better to shoot a child at his/her level for the same reason we shoot adults at their level. I think eye contact is a key factor but not always.

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Old Jul 24, 2007, 9:16 PM   #5
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Agree to Calr point of view.
Basically my preferance is "eye level shot", but there are again some picture which really look great from adult to child view.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 10:11 PM   #6
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All professional children portraits I've seen (whether for family remembrance, Christmas cards or any other special occasion), are taken at the children's eye level. So I guess there must be a good reason for such.

Alan, as for the banner, I think a life time would not be enough for me to learn Welsh. From what I can tell, the banner is about the EisteddfodWelsh music and poetry festival, which I believe will be held in Flynt this year. I really wanted to be there to experience it for I love Welsh men choirs.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 10:19 PM   #7
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Now Alan, can you translate this sign?
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 1:58 AM   #8
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Tullio wrote:
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Now Alan, can you translate this sign?
Trwyddedig-licensed; prydau-meal; ar gael-available. So...

"Licensing hours between 11-5.30 of the clock (apostrophe in "o'r"missing). Tea, coffee and 'food meals' (?! what other sort) available through the day".

Had to look up the three above in http://www.geiriadur.net/. Clearly you will have been able to guess, tullio, so I am indebted for the lesson.

I lived in S.Wales from age 4 until college at age 19, and am now 5 miles from the Welsh border in England. I received a prize for Welsh in high school, but due to inadequacies of 1960-61 language teaching, I have much vocabulary and no grammar. Written Welsh is 100% phonetic, so I can read it out confidently, understanding little.

I passed the Eisteddfodd site & its pavilions, all ready to go on 4th Aug, twice last week, but couldn't stop. It's quite a sight &I hope to go & take some pictures. if quality is adequate, I'll find an excuse to put some somewhere in the surrounding forums.

My late father (on the right below), from Sheffield, Yorkshire, sang in Caerphilly Male Voice Chor (Cor Meibion, Caerffili) for 50 years. When singing (poorly) in choirs now, I wear his pullover bearing its badge.

This is a portait of my brother, me, a distracting yellow flower, and my Dad in the Brecon Beacons, S.Wales,in 2003. We posed for the archive picture (last one of us all together), so I think it's a portrait.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 3:34 AM   #9
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some nice photos there Alan, lovely photos of the children.
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 4:13 AM   #10
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Thanks, Alex. I look forward to seeing more of yours here & there!
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