Before, During, After-The Airport

We're spending Spring Break with Nana in town.  The kids and I picked her up from the airport on Sunday, and of course I brought my camera along.  I had great imaginings of the images I could create.  I came home happy with a few.

I want to share some of my thoughts before, during, and after taking these shots.  I hope to do this on a regular basis. 

Before: I was entering a public place with my three young children.  I knew I wouldn't have time to make adjustments while I was shooting so I set my camera up in the car.  I brought my 28mm, 1.8 prime lens because I knew I'd be shooting indoors.  An expo disc would have helped to set white balance but I knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to use it (with the three kids) so I left that in the car.  

I thought a bit about the story I wanted to tell.  The biggest excitement was the fact that the kids and my mom would be reunited after a few months apart.  To say we were excited was an understatement and I hoped to capture that moment.  I had the image in my mind….a simple shot with my mom's excited face running up to the excited faces of my kiddos.  Loving embrace.  No other people, signs, distractions.  Clear and in focus.  Let's see what happens….

As a secondary consideration, I knew the kids, especially Sam, would be fascinated by the plains, trains and automobiles at the airport.  I wanted to capture that too.  

During: I started off trying to set the scene with the girls looking at the "Arrivals and Departures" board.  The first few times, I cut off the words "arrivals and departures" so reshot.  We moved on after I found Sam climbing onto an (inactive) baggage carousel.  

We headed on to the big windows to watch the planes.  I'm pretty happy with how these shots came out.  I made sure not to blow out the scene out the window for at least a few (If I had my settings exposed for the kids on the inside, it might have been too bright out the window and it would have all appeared as white) for most of the shots.  There's some lens haze in some but I like it.  

And as for capturing the magical scene of my mom and kids running toward each other.  Well, that didn't turn out exactly as I had planned.  It happened fast, I was trying to keep track of my three kiddos….and how dare other people be at the airport that day!  I'm not thrilled with this as a photograph, but it was pretty great as a moment.  

After: It's hard to say what might have worked better in this situation.  Just thinking about the last photo, what could I have done to improve?  One idea would be to set up my focus and exposure ahead of time, maybe on some random stranger coming out before my mom.  I even could have set up the composition of the shot a bit better.Then, I could just snap the picture once she reached the spot.  That might have seemed weird though and I probably would have been in the way of everyone else deplaning in the airport.  I also could have had my kids hang out further back from the "do not enter" signs so I could have photographed the scene from a different angle, maybe to get the look on my kids' faces too.  An expo disc could have helped set the while balance in this weirdo combination of lighting.  

All things to think about for next time….