Monday, September 20, 2010

A Mother’s First Gift

A Mother's First Gift
I know. This is just a little cardinal figurine.  The story of the this little fellow is what makes it special, at least to my mother.

I don’t remember the exact age.  It was purchased while we lived at my parent’s first house in Wickliffe, KY.  We moved there when I was four and lived there until we moved to Granbury, TX when I was nine. 

One day during the summer, I was riding my bike around the neighborhood.  One of our neighbors having a garage sale.  I saw this little fellow and decided that I had to get it for my mother.  So, I asked how much it was.  The neighbor told me that it was 5 cents.  I went straight home and got my nickel.  I was very proud of my purchase but still wanted to surprise my mother with the gift.  Apparently I didn’t do a good job of hiding my enthusiasm of the day.  My mother asked me what I was hiding.  I showed the figurine to her and told her that I purchased it for her.  At this point, mother thought that I had taken the figurine and then lied to her about it.  There was some serious trouble headed my way. 

Fortunately for me, she decided to call the neighbor and apologize before she dealt with me.  Our neighbor told her the story about how I purchased it.  I went from the dog house to being the star in a blink of an eye.  This was the first time I had ever picked out and purchased a present for her. 
To this day the little guy has its own little shelve in her breakfast nook. 

So this year for Mother’s Day, I photographed the little cardinal and had it printed.  The photography was simple.  The lighting was a Canon 430ex flash set to ETTL and high-speed sync with a 1/2 CTO to camera left.  The camera was daylight-balanced set at ISO 200, f/11 at 1/400sec.  I used f/11 to give me enough depth of field to have figurine focus and maintain the some of the detail in the wood grain in the foreground.  I used the ISO 200 so I could get the shutter speed fast enough to over-power of the ambient light and reduce the background to near black. 

Who would have ever thought a 5 cent purchase would last so long.

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