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The making of a “simple” snapshot: a photo essay in four frames

Last night, as she tucked our son into bed, my lovely and talented wife came into the office in search of the camera. Our conversation went something like this:

Wife: “Where’s the camera? I need to take a picture of your son. How do you get this thing off the tripod?”

Tripod head

Me: “Wait a second. You’re going to need some light.”
Wife: “This is supposed to just be a quick snapshot.”
Me: “Do you want a blurry mess or do you want to be able to see what’s in the photo?” (Set flash to TTL BL, +1 EV, on-camera, oriented to bounce off ceiling and adjacent wall. Camera set to ISO 200, P mode, +0.7 EV)

SB-800 Speedlight

Me: “Oops, you’re going to need some film.”
Wife: Grrr.

Flash memory

Me: “There you go.”
Wife: *Click!*
Me: “Hey, presto!”


Scene and composition: The Lovely and Talented Wife
Camera setup: Me

John Watson

John is the original founder of Photodoto, but after running it for 4 years he had to focus on different things. If you're interested in what John has been up to recently, you can check is personal blog or browse his photo blog.
  • David Naylor

    Haha, wonderful! :)

  • rik

    i think my wife and i have had the exact same conversation…i’m not sure, though. all i remember is her “grrr.”

    awesome stuff, john =]

  • Jaime

    Well that was worth it. :)

    On another note, I think the Curious George in the picture was recalled. I got one for my sister’s kid for Christmas, and found out it had a high lead content. :(

  • John Watson

    Thanks for the heads up Jamie. Certainly looks like the same one.

  • Bryan Villarin

    Nice! Great shot.

  • Erin

    haha, sounds like my husband…though usually when I start with that he just hands the camera back to me and says “I have no idea what you are talking about…you do it.”

  • Phil

    That’s why I have a point-and-shoot. Of course, my pictures don’t look as good as yours. But, to me, it’s more about just capturing the memory. At least that’s what I tell myself until I can afford a better camera.

  • mike

    I have that exact same Curious George! It came with a red fireman’s hat and a book!

    Um. I mean. I’m a grownup and have no time for toys.

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  • Stew

    Ha good one! My wife and I go through similar things, though I practically have to *beg* her to even touch my DSLR.

    See, spouses *can* do photography together!

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  • Herman

    Is it strange that I found those camera settings completely natural and something you would do within 5 seconds? (so actually making it quick).