I don’t know why, but I have been reminiscing about childhood a lot recently. About how long six weeks felt during the summer school holidays. About lazy days in the sun. Days spent watching clouds, or burning paper through a magnifying glass. Daring friends to touch nettles and bombing around the streets on our BMX bikes, wearing out tyres pulling skids. About hiding in trees, and about walking the dog along miles of baking disused railway lines. About always being covered in dirt and scabs and about Mam (hmm, my spell checker is obviously not from the North East) shouting us in for tea.
I’ll miss a lot of this as Ted grows up since I’ll be the dad who’s always at work, but I will dedicate my weekends to just messing around and being part of his childhood. My parents were always there for me – being teachers, they were off work for the same six weeks as I was off school, and it makes a big difference.
This reminiscence is starting to seep into my photography. At Ted’s barbecue on Saturday, I found myself trying to capture the children just being children. I can’t upload many to Flickr, as I feel that uploading pictures of other people’s children is not right. But I managed to use Charlotte to get a few good childhood shots. This one, Spinning, is the first.
I used to love being held by the arms and spun around. It was fast and exciting. Trying to run afterwards and falling down just made me shout for more, and Charlotte is the same.
I’d seen a shot like this before, only done much, much better. I tried it on Saturday using my Dad. Dad held Charlotte’s hands and I stood behind him with my arms around his waist, holding the camera towards Charlotte. We then all spun together, with me firing off shots to nothing in the hope that one of them came out usable.
Although I used the shortest focal length available to me, 18mm was still too long. She fills the frame a bit too much and it’s hard to see what’s going on. I think with a wider angle, I would be able to get more context into the shot, and perhaps get her face in shot if she lifted her head.
I do like the movement though. Perhaps a shutter speed of 1/50 rather than 1/25 would have been better, as there is a lot of movement in Charlotte as well as the background.
I toyed with the idea of giving this a vintage colour by desaturating it and adding my customary pink wash. This would have fit with my nostalgic frame of mind. Instead I decided to lift the vibrancy a little bit to make the colours slightly over the top and childlike.
I love how the lines streak around in a circle and how her knees float above the grass. I think it captures the fun of spinning quite well, and is a worthy first entry in my Childhood series. I intend to turn this into a series of five or so shots in an effort to capture the innocence, and the fun, of childhood.