The Girls Watching the Ipad

Relaxing with the Ipad
Click on the picture to see a bigger one on Flickr. Or you can See it at 500px by clicking here

My buddy Alan (of Fireleaf Design), his wife Nicole, Jenn and I got together over July 4 for some grub. My daughter Sabine and his daughter Grace are such the best buds… they couldn’t wait to hang out. After a couple of hours tho, they were tired, and found themselves checking out the ipad movies on the bed. I thought the moment was soo cute, I HAD to try to shoot a shot of it…

How This Shot Was Taken
I didn’t really have that much time to setup the image. The group was sitting at the table having some coffee while Sabine cozied into her bed to watch some Ipad movies. Grace soon joined her, and they just hung out for a bit checking out different movies. I didn’t want to go all “Photographer” on them right there, but I thought it was a cute moment to save.

I grabbed the P7000 and cranked the ISO to 32000 to see if I could get the moment. I loved the low light mood and the look of wonder on their faces.. neither of which translated well with so much noise. Now, I could run to the garage, try to find a tripod, try to find a plate for the camera, extend the legs.. then try to recompose – or I could improvise.

(I tried to take a picture of the actual scene, but Jenn kinda drew the line at that.. something about “so now you want to show the interwebs where we sleep.. um.. no)

I pulled a nightstand off the wall and moved it forward about 18 inches. The Nightstand was higher than the vantage point that I was looking for, so I opened the top drawer and placed a tissue box on it’s side inside of it. I put the P7000 on top of this. This would give me a slightly lower frame, but not enough tilt.

I found a 3/4 used tube of Desitin. I bent it in half and played with where to place it under the tissue box to get the downward angle exactly as I wanted it. Note: Parents know what that is.. for those who dont .. substitute a tube of toothpaste in this example. In this example only. Use Desitin AS toothpaste and you’ll have some problems.

Once that was all set, I set the camera to 100 ISO, aperture priority. The exposure read about 2 seconds.. so it was essential that the camera didn’t shake as I pressed the shutter. To combat that, I set the timer for 2 seconds.

The only thing that this doesn’t show – is that I had like 3 minutes to do it. McNally woulda been proud. 🙂


  1. Great picture. I love that you captured a “friends” moment. I’m impressed that you actually got this off before drawing their interest away from the iPad.

  2. RC, dude you keep impressing me. This photo is all about the light. After all, that’s what photography is all about. The fact that it’s tack sharp too?! Wow, you knocked it out of the park! Thanks for sharing.

  3. The picture is absolutely adorable, and I definitely know that look of “we’re watching something on the iPad, don’t bother us”. What made the photo even better was your story behind it. I looked at the diagram, and started laughing when you showed the Desitin tube. Sweet job.

  4. Love the pic! Their expression and the whole mood is lovely. Also, it’s the first time I see a 1/4 tube of Desitin turned into a photo mounting help 😉

  5. I’m not sure what to be more impressed with – your skills in creating the diagram or your MacGyver-esque resource skills 😉
    A great moment captured and proof that young kids can sit still for longer than 1 second when they want to 😉

  6. Thanks!!! David – the cool part for me is the “OK.. how am I gonna make this work” moment when I really want the picture to work… having to think fast in those scenarios is what I love the most about Photography..

  7. RC, Great job! You nailed this photo, and I admire your resourcefulness!

    Got your HDR book in the mail and I’m really enjoying it. So much info, but all very clearly explained. Can’t wait for your next book! 🙂


  8. This image made me smile and your explanation made me laugh. I especially liked the Jen’s comment and the toothpaste explanation (although I’m a Desetin fan). The girls are a delight together. The 2 seconds part really surprised me though!

  9. Really nice composition and lighting.

    Wondering how the girsl were able to sit still for a full 2 seconds. No blinking, no movements of arms, clothes or anything, quite amazing.

    Have a 4 year old myself, and she would definateky not let me get away with a shot like this. Not that she wouldn’t have the picture taken, but she would be too curious to sit still 🙂

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