Ken’s Tips On Your Pics: Move your feet!

An old friend of mine has sent in this lovely photograph that he took when on holiday. The strength of this image comes from the beautiful colours and the natural pose of the little boy. I really love the visual joke of the boy holding the lid of a paint tin and that he is wearing dungarees – it looks like he has just been out painting the town.

Painting the Town

Painting the Town

This kind of image has to be taken very quickly so as not to lose the spontaneity that is so much of what makes the shot and Gordon has done really well to capture it. In his urgency to get the picture Gordon has made a couple of common ‘amateur’ errors. The boy’s head is right in the centre of the pic and this usually happens because the photographer is looking directly at the person through the camera instead of seeing everything in the viewfinder as a single composition. The other ‘flaw’ is that the position of the boy by one side of the door and the wall means that the eye is not sure where to look and gets a bit confused where they all meet.

Having seen other pics by Gordon I know that he is an excellent photographer and has ‘grabbed’ this picture quickly so as not to lose it. Putting a lot of care into the composition when you have plenty of time means that it will become second nature when you are rushed and this pic could possibly have been improved by stepping to the left and crouching a little lower. I have done a rough bit of Photoshopping to show what it could have looked like and I think that it is a bit stronger as a result.

Painting the Town adjusted

Painting the Town adjusted

On the other hand, Gordon may have missed the shot altogether if he had taken more time, sometimes circumstances dictate what we get and of course I am assuming a perfect world. Great shot Gordon

Whether you are a beginner or an accomplished photographer, if you would like some advice on how to improve your family photos, please post them on my Facebook Page or email them to

Happy snapping and please feel free to leave a comment on the picture or the post.

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1 comment so far

  1. Ken, you are correct in saying it was a quick grab though I guess taking just one step to my left would have made the composition far better so no excuses there. Thanks for the tip and will apply it in future.

    By Gordon Fraser at 1:39 pm on Sep 14, 2010

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