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Playtime in the park

Playtime in the park 1

I like this photo of my daughter Emma playing in the playground at Alexandra Palace in London.

We had gone to Alley Pally for a paper craft fair in April 2012 because my wife Janice likes to make greetings cards, but both James and Emma get bored with commercial fairs so I took them to the Boating Lake and around the playground behind the building itself. This item of play equipment is a plastic wheel set at an angle to the ground which the children sit or lie on and try to spin it round. Once I saw them playing on it it became an ideal vehicle for getting one of my favorite type of pictures; using some part of the picture as a lead in to the subject.

I always find taking pictures of the children quite difficult. Because they are constantly running about it’s difficult to pose them without making a picture which looks posed, and taking candid shots soon becomes a collection of snapshots. That’s why I often try to find something to act as a lead in to the picture. It adds some compositional strength.

I think this shot gives the impression of movement and captures a bit of the fun they had. It was taken with a Canon S95 which I normally have with me to make sure I can get reasonable shots if a situation arises and I don’t have my proper camera with me. Shot at f2 @ 1/1000, even at that aperture the depth of field is enough to make most of the background in focus as well. That’s what you get with small sensor cameras.


I’m a software developer by profession but I’ve been taking pictures since I was about 8 years old. In that time I’ve owned cameras of all types and sizes from 120 roll film thro’ 35mm to my current Pentax K-5, Ricoh GXR + P10/S10/A12 28mm/A12 50mm, Canon S95 and recently acquired Sony NEX 6.

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