We often feel overwhelmed by the number of photographs we see on Instagram, but there are images that are burned onto our retina. They have that certain something which you never get tired of looking at and there is no better way than seeing and feeling these photos through the eyes of their authors.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing Maria, @pomelosylimones on Instagram. Maria has always been interested in photography, but she never imagined that it could be anything else than just a hobby. She thought that she lacked talent, that she was neither “artistic” enough, nor creative… Actually, she still thinks of herself like that, but a couple of years ago, when she opened her Instagram account, she suddenly realized that in order to take photos, you do not have to be good, nor the best, nor gifted: you simply have to take photos. The only alternative was not to take any, which wasn’t an option for her. So she started taking courses and working with the manual mode.
She admires people who take landscape and still life photos, because these types of photography don’t come easy to her. She feels more comfortable taking “photographs of people”, to use her words, because she likes to portrait the skin, the smiles, the looks… She wants to take pictures which she will be able to look at affectionately in a few years while remembering a particular day, how the little hands of her children used to be or the way her father looked at his granddaughter…
Lately she has fallen in love with the work of the American photographer Elliot Erwitt. His photos are a mix of humor, crudeness and tenderness which make him unique. Not only does she like his photos, she also likes what his pictures reveal about him.
Maria has allowed us to post four photos which I really love. She gives details on the context in which she took them, as well as on the technical and editing aspects. I have only to thank Maria.
I usually have the camera in a fixed place at home, with a 35mm lens, and prepared with a few basic parameters (ISO 200, 1 / 160s and f 2.2). When I see nice light or that the children are playing quietly, I give it a try and change some of the configuration if necessary. In this case, Julia was absorbed watching cartoons and there was that beautiful rainy day light. I just opened the diaphragm a little more so that only one eye was in focus.
In this photo, I decreased the high lights and I increased the shadows and blacks a little. I added clarity and, in the tone curve, I increased the shadows.
Nikon D3200, 35mm
That day I was getting the children ready for bath time. Like almost all children, first they never want to get into the tub and then they never want to get out. They were being difficult and Julia was sitting in that chair. I liked what I saw and grabbed the camera. I had to slightly modify the parameters that I had set, because it was late and the room was already a bit dark.
As regards editing, there are photos in which I use presets and then I edit them until they are to my liking and others that I edit from the beginning. The presets I use are the VSCO Film 01 or the Kodak 160+. I have some more, but in the end, I always use these…
In this image, I used the Kodak 160+ filter. I varied, a posteriori, some settings like the saturation of reds and yellows, which I decreased a little and also did so with the shade. I also use the brush to lower the exposure on the left side of the wall, as I did not want to see so much detail.
Nikon D7000, 35mm
I do not like it when the children are posing, so when I see that we are in a place that can work, I try to seize the moment. That day we were walking through the tunnel, which is in my town, with my father. The light comes from a few lamp posts that are quite low which throws weird shadows on the faces of the children, but when they looked up the light was beautiful.
In the editing of this photo I did the opposite of what I do now, so you can see it is one of the oldest… LOL. High lights are up and shadows and blacks are down. I also increased the clarity.
Nikon D3200, 35mm
We were spending the afternoon on a dunes surrounded beach, so while Mom was taking pictures, the children were picking flowers… At one point, Julia felt tired and sat on the wooden walkways so I took the photo from above. In this case, the speed is a bit higher, because a minute before she was playing with her brother and the diaphragm was wide open, to focus on his eyes.
When editing, I decided to increase the exposure, as well as the shadows and the blacks. I lowered the highlights and the whites and also the saturation a little, because when adding contrast, as I did, they were over-saturated in my opinion.
Nikon D7000, 35mm