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Dashing through the snow, aperture f16,

Going to Grandma’s house; the light there is obscene!

When we’ve all arrived, exhaustion is our lot

That’s no time for taking pix, no matter what she thought.



Camera clicks, camera clicks, taking shots all day;

Oh what fun it is to shoot from a moving one horse sleigh


The time to do the job’s when everyone’s calmed down,

When toys have turned to boredom, and the games are droning on.

When half time comes along, a breath of air is nice

So pose them on the entry steps, but scrape away the ice!


No sun should blast their eyes; they’ll all look like raccoons.

Instead a little shade or clouds will win you some doubloons.

Don’t pose them in straight lines; that’s a boring shot.

Instead they’ll form a pyramid, or something that looks hot!


Make sure your focal field is clear from front to back

A tripod and f8 or more will keep shots sharp as tacks.

Be sure to leave a space for your own unlovely head;

Set the cam for time delay, and get there or you’re dead.

DSCF5989 playful powells

You can ask the inlaws, or perhaps a neighbor kid

To hold a reflector in the light to fill the shadows up

Or bounce a flash off the entry roof or any place like that

Then all go in to sup.


If outside is too cold, a staircase plan is great.

Just stack the folks from old to young, the youngest on top steps.

Then lie about how long it all will take,

Shoot fast, then make them schlep.

Brian & Char web


The basic stuff is not too hard:  think light, and pose, and space.

Soon it’s done then back to fun, with a little of God’s grace.



Safe and happy holidays, everyone!

Simplicity Christmas Card final

Want more tips?  To buy Explorations in Photography as a print version for $35.95, go here.  To buy it as an e-book for $9.95, follow this link .


One Comment

  1. Thank you for these nuggets of wisdom sir! Have a merry Xmas and a happy new year.

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