GET BEHIND THE SHOT:
THE STORY OF BUBBLES

BY OLYMPUS TRAILBLAZER PETER BAUMGARTEN
Olympus Trailblazer Peter Baumgarten

THE BACKSTORY

Some photos are spontaneous while others take a bit of planning. This one definitely fit into the second category. Part of that planning was being able to see the shot before I ever pressed the shutter release. Although I couldn’t plan out all the details, I was able to visualize a final version of the image. My granddaughter, Ava had never experienced blowing bubbles so I thought the novelty of the experience could make for some great photos. Plus, bubbles look cool!

THE PLANNING

I purchased a few different bubble wands several weeks beforehand and tested them out. I didn’t want to get everything ready and find out I had a bubble-blowing dud on my hands. I also wanted a bit of thin cloud in order to avoid the harsh shadows caused by direct sunlight. The final element was locating a spot in my yard that provided a nice backdrop free of distracting elements. Nothing can ruin a shot more than a distant telephone pole sticking out of your subject’s head. With everything in order I gave Ava’s mom a call, “Can Ava come over to play?”

THE SHOT

Children can be tough subjects so I knew I might have only a few minutes of Ava’s attention before she tired of blowing bubbles. The Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the M.75mm f1.8 lens are the perfect combination for a shot like this. They are compact, but solidly built and allow for quick setting changes with an active subject. The M.75mm lens is an amazing portrait lens that provides crisp details and nice soft defocused areas.

I chose the following settings:

Aperture Priority – I wanted to easily control the depth of field

ISO 500 – This would allow a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any sudden movements

1/800s at f/5.0 – I opted for a slightly smaller aperture than I would normally use for a portrait shot because of the potential for movement.

Continuous Shooting mode – I recommend this anytime there is action you want to capture

Metering – ESP

Shot with OM-D E-M1 and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8.

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