Santa-Clause Wishes, and Photography Practice
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Almost -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, cropped — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Almost

A certain kind of trees around here (cottonwoods, I think) have seeds that float lazily in big white puffy puffs. When I was a kid, we called these “Santa Clauses”, and if you caught one, you made a wish then sent it back on its way. I taught this to Anthony.

They're fairly common, so whenever I was out with Anthony and he tried for one, I tried to photographic the sequence. This gave me much-needed practice with quick-response manual focus, and after a bunch of tries, an okay result with what should be in focus almost in focus....

Just... One... More... Moment... -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Just... One... More... Moment...

They're very light, and often merely the approach in an attempt to grab one causes it to fluff away, so Anthony had to make several lunges...

Waiting for Attempt #2 -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting for Attempt #2
Lunge! unsuccessful -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunge!
unsuccessful

Eventually he caught it, pinched between his hands...

Looks Empty, But It's There -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm, cropped — 1/250 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Empty, But It's There
Making a Wish -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Making a Wish
Sending It On Its Way -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sending It On Its Way
Helping Hand so to speak -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Helping Hand
so to speak

All 6 comments so far, oldest first...

So sweet. I really like his making a wish moment. It is so genuinely pure like everything else that little boys do. ( partial to boys since I have 2 boys!)

— comment by Sonal, MN on August 28th, 2009 at 3:49am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Great series of photos (I like the wish one, too), although I can’t help but wonder why you feel compelled to practice manual focus on moving subjects, especially because you have no MF lenses.

Sadly, Nikon’s autofocus can’t seem to pick out and lock focus on the whispy fluff of the seed against the busy, high-contrast background. Maybe my lens is defective 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on August 28th, 2009 at 8:57am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Um…Sonal, I, too, love little boys, having had four along the way , but the expression “…so genuinely pure like everything else they do….” would not have immediately sprung to My mind. At least not once they were out of diapers. But I have to admit that Anthony does appear angelic here, doesn’t he?

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on August 28th, 2009 at 9:30am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I wonder whether there is a way to get the autofocus to handle that. The Nikon autofocus system gets such good reviews but I haven’t had much luck when I have really needed it (like trying to get an owl in flight or some motocross bikes zipping by).

Did you try and play with the AF settings much (I was told that the AF would speed up if I lowered the number of points and AF area from 51 to a smaller number – on a D3. When the owl would appear I had so little time to aim and shoot and the AF just wouldn’t lock)?

There’s no way in the world AF could handle this situation. The seed fluff is almost invisible. —Jeffrey

— comment by Guy on August 28th, 2009 at 4:07pm JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Grandma Friedl, I think you also had Marcina to balance out 4 boys 🙂 While my son who is 6 months younger than Anthony has moved on from wishing for world peace to Nintendos and Wii..I still see so much purity and calmness in him.
Yes, Anthony is a very special little boy in every sense.
You must be missing the kids now that they all went back !

— comment by Sonal, MN on August 29th, 2009 at 1:51am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Yes, Sonal, it is very quiet around here today, since Jeffrey and Anthony left yesterday (and arrive safely and very tired back in Japan this morning.). Now I have all the toys and things to put away until next time. ( It will be nice to walk across the floor without stepping on Legos again) Happily, I will have warm memories that I can bring up easily by just looking at all the photos that I, Jeffrey and the others took. Thanks for your comments.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on August 30th, 2009 at 11:44pm JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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