Covering a Family Event

by | Sep 24, 2021 | Stories & Expeditions | 0 comments

The camera on my cell phone is usually sufficient for capturing memories for most family evets. However, for my grandfather’s funeral, I brought my DSLR because this was more than just a random get-together. It was an event I wanted to remember forever.

For the graveside service, I didn’t want to carry a lot of equipment around, so I chose to use just one lens: the 70-200mm. It allowed me to step back and not be a distraction during the service, but was also good for capturing little details without having to move around too much.

210911_James Staddon_8883 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 70 mm, 1-640 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

210911_James Staddon_8914 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 125 mm, 1-4000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

210911_James Staddon_8940 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 135 mm, 1-1000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

210911_James Staddon_8987 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 100 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

210911_James Staddon_8936 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 105 mm, 1-2000 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

After the service, we got together at a park to spend time together as a family and reminisce about Grandpa’s life. I realized just how out of practice I was with the 50mm and photographing people!

210911_James Staddon_9024 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 800

210911_James Staddon_8997 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-160 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 640

210911_James Staddon_9116 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 35 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 2.8, ISO 100

210911_James Staddon_9149 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 50 mm, 1-2000 sec at f - 1.8, ISO 100

When it comes to taking pictures of people, I think I enjoy photographing children most because they don’t care too much about how they look. They are content with just who they are.

Of course, we had to get an impromptu group photo, so I switched to a winder angle lens. At first, I was going to take everyone over to a nearby pavilion to use steps and a cement pad for height variation. However, it was pointed out to me that that location was in full sunlight (thus, making lots of squinty faces) and the background wouldn’t be very interesting. So, we decided to stay on the playground. It was in the shade and had a perfect place for the children to all sit in front. The biggest problem with this location was the background. The playground itself was extremely busy, and there was no way to blur it out. So, after casually arranging everyone,  I asked the person who actually took the photo to shoot from very low angle. It isn’t the best background in the world, but there is almost always a way to lessen the impact of negative components.

210911_James Staddon_9045 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 16 mm, 1-500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

It turned out to be a great place to take the group picture of all the great-grandchildren too. Like, children; playground. Great spot. Problem is, I still took it at a low angle! I think what was going through my head was, “I like how more attention is brought to faces that are against the sky as opposed to against the trees or playground implements, so let’s try to get as many heads against the sky as possible.” Thus, the low angle. And I let all the grownups figure out the whole “kids smile and look at the camera” thing.

210911_James Staddon_9076 Canon EOS 7D Mark II, 16 mm, 1-500 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 100

I am so grateful to be in a family who loves each other. It’s such a huge blessing! And in many ways, Grandpa is to be credited for that. He was the best kind of grandpa you could ever have. “A new commandment I [Jesus] give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35.

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