<<< o >>>Photo Friday: Childhood 16 comments + add yours

Over the last few years I’ve taken several thousand pictures of our children but wanted to take a new one for this week’s Photo Friday challenge. But none of my attempts over the last few days have been remotely suitable, not least I think because they have totally failed to capture anything even vaguely evocative of childhood. Or, put another way; while posing for photographs is inevitably something that happens when you’re a child, the resultant images often appear artificial and stilted and (in my experience) mostly fail to capture what I see as the defining characteristics of childhood – things like spontaneity, lack of self-consciousness, and the joyfullness at just being alive ... none of which can be faked or posed. at least not convincingly.

So, after rummaging through various albums, this is the one I decided on. It was taken around 18 months ago at Castle Hill, Huddersfield, and captures two of our daughters – just playing. It was taken with my old camera, a Fujifilm FinePix 40i, so isn’t quite up to the technical standard of some of my recent images, but I do think that it works well for this week’s challenge.

And finally, while I'd like to be able to say that my cropping of our daughter (on the left of this image) was intentional – to better represent the movement and vitality of the moment – it was actually a consequence of the shutter lag of the camera used for the picture. But, intentional or otherwise, I think it works reasonably well in this context ;-)

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
focal length
image quality
white balance
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Fujifilm FinePix 40i
4.54pm on 1/6/02
1x1 + children + photo friday
comment by jane at 02:44 PM (GMT) on 17 December, 2003

Love the colours - have you emphasised those in any way and if so why? I wonder if we perceive the grass as so much greener and the sky as sooo blue only when we are children or feeling carefree?

comment by djn1 at 03:13 PM (GMT) on 17 December, 2003

jane: well spotted. Yes, the colours were enhanced (marginally) using a Photoshop Action called Digital Velvia - http://www.fredmiranda.com/DV/ - which mimics the colour balance of Fujichrome Velvia.

As for our memories: perhaps we perceive things more vividly when we're feeling carefree and happy? I can't speak for anyone else, but when I'm happy the world takes on a luminance that is entirely absent when I'm feeling miserable - then it just seems gray and drab. So yes, I did amend the colours in this image, but not to intentionally invoke any of the things you mentioned - it just didn't look 'right' until I did.

comment by fredrik at 06:46 AM (GMT) on 8 January, 2004

suddenly the morning seems a little brighter, thanks to this photo. it reminds me that we're heading for lighter times. thanks:)

comment by djn1 at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 8 January, 2004

fredrik: I'm glad this image brightened your day. For me, it does capture something of the 'lightness' of the long summer days.

comment by Maneck at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 8 February, 2004

I like this one best.

comment by btezra at 07:39 PM (GMT) on 6 May, 2004

~this is, by far, my favorite image you have taken...the lush green color, the exhuberant children, the well noted perspective and lastly that shadow cast coming from the left of the frame...tons of detail in a shot that has so much to enjoy...this is what photography is all about, the ability to convey a moment and make the viewer feel as if they are there or illicit an emotional response...well, anyways, great job, your top ten is outstanding IMHO!~

comment by Mark at 03:31 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2004

Well, this is just stunning. An almost painterly depiction of childhood joy and exuberance. And, though I may be showing my age by saying this, the square format adds to the theme with its evocation of those old 126 format snapshots from my own childhood. Great job, congrats!

comment by Bob at 03:14 AM (GMT) on 6 July, 2004

Summer colors -- love the motion in this image -- it could easily be something used for an ad... I'm so happy I decided to flip back through -- nice work, Dave...

comment by m at 08:25 PM (GMT) on 17 December, 2004

It still surprises me the pictures people comment on and those they don't. I see no correlation between those I like best and those most commented on. Do you? I suspect not looking at the list in your portfolio. Do you think your comments affect comments from others?

comment by keoshi at 01:50 PM (GMT) on 6 January, 2005

This is a gorgeous shot, simply beautiful... The colors and the saturation makes it almost unreal...

comment by xian at 05:14 AM (GMT) on 9 April, 2005

Hi. I just stumbled across your site and was particularly impressed by the color in this image. I believe it is just the image that Claritin has been looking for all these years. :) A mere glance at this image would clear anyone's sinuses. In all seriousness, the colors are quite obviously exaggerated, but that manipulation seems to define the character of this image that normal coloration could not possibly capture. I think this image embodies youth, vitality, and a bit of nostalgia. Inspiring.

comment by paul at 10:10 AM (GMT) on 11 May, 2005

wow! Those colours are amazing....

comment by Hikari at 04:03 PM (GMT) on 27 May, 2005

That day in Castle Hill was beautiful. Your children were beautiful as well. I really loved the clean sky and the fresh grass. Everything seems very clean to me. Absolutely gorgeous!

comment by Tai Ward-Holmes at 10:12 PM (GMT) on 27 May, 2005

I agree, this is THE PHOTO.
Aaah! ....the physcology of photography - capturing a moments impression for the viewer! There is no way I can say this is a rock; it is symbol, a memory of yesterday from which we built upon. I can see the laughter and hear the freedom. Kia Ora

comment by Ben at 11:51 PM (GMT) on 4 May, 2006

This is a nice shot, but I don't think that it belongs in your portfolio.

comment by Craig at 02:35 PM (GMT) on 13 July, 2006

This is an excellent freeze frame and captures childhood well.