I shot this photo in the woods at my wife’s cabin. I knew I wanted to play around with the depth of field as I like the shape and texture of the worm fern. Therefore, in addition to my family and me I wanted those to be in focus. Anything else, I thought, could be out of focus.
I’ve just gotten started with large format photography, and seeing the picture now makes me think I should have paid more attention to the depth of field. Out of the three faces its only Heidi’s face that’s sharp… but maybe it’s not that crucial. Bear in mind though, it’s not that easy taking a family portrait with a large format camera with a pneumatic remote release – you can see the releaser in my right arm.
I like this photo for several reasons. First, clearly, for me it contains the two most important people in the world. Apart from that, I like the way the person in the middle interacts with whoever is looking at the picture. While the other two interacts with each other. At the same time, these three people are also obviously a unit. I’m also pleased with the tilt effect, and appreciate the way the worm fern in the foreground stands out with the family and describes the environment.
This picture reminds me that a photo doesn’t always portray the truth, or that it hides parts of it. This was a very hot day and it was difficult to concentrate under the dark cloth sweating in the heat. In addition, there were insects flying in and out of the bellows and in my face. Heidi closed her eyes on the first exposure so I had to put in a new sheet of film and check the settings yet again. It was slightly frustrating as the heat and insects became more and more annoying, and 8×10″ sheet film is not cheap either. But, as it turns out, this is a better picture – even if she had kept her eyes open in the first exposure. And I have to give a lot of credit to Heidi for keeping Haakon, our son, happy – that was not an easy job with all the bugs and mosquitos flying around. If she didn’t I would never have been able to shoot this photo. Afterwards she made it clear it would be some time until the next one. Fair enough. She is the most patient impatient I know. Not everyone appreciates the slow art of large format photography. All of us were probably happy to get it over with though. My point being – you can’t see the annoying insects or feel the sweltering heat in this photo. It was a happy moment though and I’ve made a large format family selfie.