It’s About Feet

Martha Graham FeetMartha Graham Feet by I Nancy, on Flickr

As I wandered around the Santa Paula Citrus Balloon Festival a couple of weekends ago, my eyes and mind were busy processing the sights and sounds looking for the essence of summer fair goodness. Daytime activities included parachute jumpers, stunt plane flyovers, fair games, food, and a big open circle that was a magnet for playing children and adults alike. Night time was dominated by the balloon glow activities.

As I watched people interacting, their activities as well as their, often painted, faces spoke to me about the mood and activities. I took a bunch of shots following people around the playing field and concentrating just on their feet. What were they doing? What was the motion? What did this express? This woman, and her gingham dress, caught my eye as belonging to another place, another time. But there she was playing wiffle-ball with her friends. Her skirt flowing with her moves.

Pick Up Game

The children were a fun subject too. This boy’s parents were trying to teach him how to kick the ball, but all he really wanted to do was pick it up and throw it. Eventually he got the hang of it, playing with another child. I loved the “golf-pants” on the the further boy.

Kick Game

My mental list for this set of images included feet, action, play, summer. I spent the time during these shoots at foot level with a 70-200mm lens. I wanted to be far enough away, so as to not interfere with the action. I also wanted to use the narrow slice of depth of field to focus the viewer in just on the feet. I think in the Kick Game I may have gone a little too narrow with the DOF and wish that both sets of children’s feet were in focus. This may just be a sketch image for a future opportunity.

Children at Play

Children at Play, originally uploaded by I Nancy.

I’ve been taking panos on the iPhone all month, mostly stitching them directly on the phone using Autostitch. I’ve been working especially on panos containing people because I think it is kind of unique. People move, you need to be careful. But if you get your seams right, then you can capture a scene that didn’t take place.

This is 4 vertical images taken on the iPhone and stitched together in Photomerge from Photoshop Elements 6 (Mac version). There is almost no other editing except a bit of color balance adjustment (i like my images a bit warmer).

I am continually amazed by the iPhone image quality. I can’t even enter this in my favorite low-res group on Flickr. They would just kick it out.