Bath Time

I love capturing our daily ceremonies.  Setting the table, mowing the lawn, making cupcakes… Probably just like you I’ve heard a million times how much I’m going to miss all of this.  I think what they mean (and I can’t really be sure because no body remembers exactly what they wish they had remembered…) is that it’s hard to see just how wonderful and amazing daily activities are through the eyes of little ones.  And it is true, the little ones find so much joy in the routine and the rituals, they see the “daily grind” as something new and exciting – the world through their eyes is really and truly just one big playground!  So, in an effort to capture these fleeting moments, I have created a list in my head of things I need to capture and preserve.  Bath time is on that list.  Recently, I’ve noticed, bath time has become incredibly stressful at our house.  It seems to involve a lot of splashing and craziness that is completely inappropriate for the tub.   I’m sensing that the fun, “magical” play time of two children in the bath together is quickly coming to an end.  And before it does, I wanted to make sure I documented this “oh so precious” time…before it is forever gone and it is something that joins the ranks of things I am going to miss.

Here are some of the pictures I captured the other night when I felt brave enough to get out my camera with two toddlers in the tub:-)

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When I set out to document these kinds of daily rituals I want to make sure that the rendition is captured in an artful way.  There is a difference between just snapping pictures and creating something that is artful.  Do you know what I mean?  For me, the key to creating that artful look is the composition.

One of the most important things to recognize when you are composing an image (especially where there is a lot of clutter and distraction in the scene) is that there are lots of “subjects” in the image.  For example, in these images of Lucy and Luke, Lucy and Luke are not the only “subjects”.  When I was taking these pictures I needed to pay attention to the (1) soap dish, (2) drain lever, and (3) faucet/water temperature thingy (sorry, I don’t know all the technical terms for these things!)  I wanted to use those things + Lucy and Luke to create “shapes.”  Now, the first image I posted is just a great moment for Lucy and Luke…but for me it lacks that artistic look because Lucy’s head is competing with the soap dish.  Not good composition.  So, in the next sequence of images I tried to use Lucy + Luke + Soap Dish to make a triangle.  That way your eyes circle around Lucy and Luke.  The soap dish looks like a natural part of the image:

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Here I had to incorporate the towel…and I lined up the towel and the faucet to point to Luke’s face:

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Here I have a rectangle (or an oval…:-))

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You see the difference!  So here’s your challenge!  Identify ALL of the important elements in your image…and use them to make shapes!  You’ll love the composition.  Your bath time pictures will look like they should be in a museum!!

November 1, 2009 - 12:02 pm

Judi B. - I just happened to come across your blog when viewing testimonies from ProPhoto Blog Themes and wanted to let you know that I have really been enjoying your photos and stories. I especially like this post where you describe the way you composed your shots. I intend to bookmark your blog so I can browse through some old posts to see what I can learn. Thanks for taking the time to share your creativity!

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