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Capturing Magic Moments Leading Up To Christmas

Capturing Magic Moments

Calendar baby Ryley Alach, aged 2 years, star of December in the Plunket Fundraising calendar, with her Grandad, Santa Hepi Haika. Ryley is counting down the days until Christmas in the inimitable style of youngsters in control of pens.

Photographing your nearest and dearest - especially growing children - is an all important part of recording family history and fun-times for many parents and grandparents. Christmas family gatherings and summer holidays are ideal opportunities to capture those magic moments on camera.

Renowned professional photographer and father of three, Bruce Foster, knows what it takes to capture special times especially where kids are involved. Bruce recently photographed young children at play for Plunket's 2004 fundraising calendar at a series of locations including Family Fun Days held at Plunket Family Centres throughout the country. The calendar went on sale this week through Plunket branches and Family centres, and Foodtown and Woolworths nationwide.

"We had a lot of fun chasing children across backyards, through swimming pools and around bath-tubs, in order to capture those very special images," says Bruce. "Like many people, I enjoy children's spontaneity, uncensored actions and natural honesty. I always feel privileged to be able to record them through film and this project was no exception."

Bruce says he has photographed his own children and has thousands of photos to prove it. And like most families, he reveals he hasn't gotten around to putting the photos into albums, either! But to help ensure you get great pics this summer, Bruce offers the following tips:

* Timing - Wait for that special moment - patience is rewarded!

* Fill the frame - look at what is happening in the entire photograph, consider the background - is there a tree growing out of the child's head?

* Vantage point - Move the camera around - left to right, up and down - check out the various options for an interesting pic.

* Light - any light is good light, but late afternoon or early morning light can be special times, but a bare bulb can surprise!

* Shutter speed - if you have a good camera, slow shutter speeds, like 1/8 or 1/15, can give a great feeling of movement

* Overexpose - when shooting negative film set the ISO to around half of that recommend by manufactuers. Film loves over-exposure but hates under.

Finally, don't be afraid to experiment says Bruce. "There are no rules. It's a great excuse to be a child yourself - so get down on the ground, and have fun!"

Celebrating Children, Plunket's 2004 calendar has been fully-funded by Meridian Energy and is priced at $15 including GST, with all proceeds going directly to Plunket.

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