Search Results for: mathew

Happy Birthday Mathew

Blowing Out the Candles

Recently we celebrated Mathew’s seventh birthday. He is shown in this photo blowing out the candles on his birthday cake.

Mathew and this blog are close to the same age. You can watch him grow “virtually” through my back pages:

Newborn Mathew
Mathew in the Kitchen Sink
Mathew is One!
Kids! Kar! Krazy!
Mathew Playing
Mathew on His Third Birthday
Boy in a Box
Portrait of Mathew
Our Boys
Mathew’s Fourth Birthday
Annals of Parenting
Flying Dragon
Mathew and the iPad App
Blanket DNA

And, most recently, Mathew

Just in case you haven’t seen enough of my kids and want to give the others some equal time, here’s a link to the Kids category on my blog.

Posted in Kids, Photography


Mathew is my almost-seven-year-old son. Sometimes he is a ball of energy and sometimes he is abrasive. Often he is full of love and affection and wonder at the world around him. I love Mathew very much.

It is a joy to me to have three boys (and Katie Rose). But sometimes I look around and say, “Who are these kids, and why are they calling me ‘Dad’?”

Each child is different, and each is wonderful in his or her own way.


When I made this photo, we were visiting a house with frosted glass on either side of the front door. I asked Mathew to pose for me looking through the glass. I knew I wouldn’t have much time with this mercurial child. I bumped my ISO slightly (to 250), set the camera to programmed automatic, and set the exposure adjustment to minus one f-stop to compensate partially for blow-out from hot spots where the sun was hitting the glass.

I was able to make four exposures before Mathew got bored, and only this one came out. There’s minimal post-processing involved, primarily spotting in Photoshop for dirt on the frosted glass.

Exif data: 200mm, 1/50 of a second at f/5.6 and ISO 250, hand held.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew and the iPad app

Mathew Viking

Mathew Viking, photo by Harold Davis.

Mathew dressed up in a knight’s tunic and plastic Viking helmet seems no one to mess with, particularly with the sword in hand and glint in his eye.

So do what Mathew says.

He says, Try out the new Harold Davis – Photoshop Darkroom iPad/iPhone app. It’s free, fun, good photos, and you’ll like it.

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

Make-Like-A-Fish Mathew

Make-Like-A-Fish Mathew

Make-Like-A-Fish Mathew, photo by Harold Davis.

This photo of Mathew concludes a round of photos of my four kids; besides Mathew, in no particular order, Nicky, Katie Rose, and Julian.

To get this photo, I did what I advise in my Photographing Kids, Family, and (other) Weird Things webcast. I got down on Mathew’s level and asked him to show me what a fish looked like. I was ready for him when he pursed his lips, and I snapped the photo with the focus point on his right eye.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew’s Fourth Birthday

Mathew at Step One

Mathew at Step One, photo by Harold Davis.

Yesterday was Mathew’s fourth birthday. Despite the stress of Katie Rose’s birth, not to mention our commutes back and forth to the NICU in San Francisco, we want to be sure that the other kids don’t feel forgotten. So we did many of the normal birthday things with Mathew, but in a lower key.

This photo shows Mathew upside down (I flipped the photo after the fact):

Mathew Upside Down

Mathew had three birthday parties, two at Step One, his pre-school. I took these photos at one of the Step One parties.

Mathew Happy

Then we had a small party at home with just his brothers and his Grandpa Martin. There were presents and cake, of course, and we marked his height on the wall (he’s taller than his brothers were at his age).

Funny thing: Mathew and his brothers were happier at this small scale birthday event than I’ve seen them at larger extravaganzas. It was certainly easier on us.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew Visits Katie

Mathew Visits Katie

Mathew Visits Katie, photo by Harold Davis. View this photo larger.

We took Mathew, our almost four-year-old, to visit his new sister Katie Rose in the NICU for the first time. As you can see in the photo, Mathew enjoyed his visit–and he may be a little less puzzled by what is going on after having seen his tiny sister in the flesh.

Katie Rose continues to do well, and is now a hair over one kilo (2.2 pounds). She’s had a habit of desaturating (not breathing) after she eats, so they are trying to debug this by attaching a pump that delivers the food via her stomach tube very slowly.

Posted in Katie Rose, Kids, Photography

Portrait of Mathew

Portrait of Mathew

Portrait of Mathew, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This is a portrait of Mathew taken recently at pickup time in his pre-school yard. I’m struck by how much more like a little boy Mathew looks with a haircut (compare the hirsute Mathew).

It seems to me that Mathew’s personality comes through this photo. This is a determined child who knows what he wants and is loud in both happiness and sorrow. The child is the father of the man, and Mathew’s larger-than-life personality will probably (and hopefully) not diminish as he grows.

[Canon Powershot G9, 44.4mm (210 mm in 35mm terms), image stabilization, 1/100 of a second at f/4.8 and ISO 200, hand held.]

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew on His Third Birthday

We celebrated our youngest member, Mathew, and his third birthday yesterday at home with his siblings and grandparents (above). I managed to take his portrait between strenuous bouts of cupcake eating, candle blowing out, and present opening.

This morning we were at another party for Mathew at his pre-school, Step One, where Mathew wore a Thomas-the-Tank-Engine crown (below).

Mathew on His Third Birthday 2

Here are all of our family at the Step One party for Mathew:


I don’t feel I can take as much time post-processing photos of my kids as I can with photos that I’ll publish in books or sell as prints, but here are some general tips for kid photography.

Get down on level with the kids. Make the same effort to connect with a child who is your subject as you would with an adult whose portrait you are creating. Connection is easier to accomplish when you are down on the floor with the kid rather than way up there like some giant.

Consider boosting the ISO rather than using flash. This makes your photography less disruptive than with a flash going off in everyone’s face, and avoids problems with redeye and blown-out highlights, while still allowing you to capture motion. (And kids are constantly in motion.) ISO 640 is a good light sensitivity setting for indoor candid photos of kids.

Use noise reduction software in post-processing (Noise Ninja works well for this).

In the photos of Mathew, I reduced the noise on a Photoshop layer, masked the layer, and painted in his face. I did the same thing with a bit of luminance sharpening, using the Unsharp Mask on the L channel in LAB mode. This selective noise reduction and subtle sharpening creates a kind of halo effect around the face of the child. Sharpening only the luminance channel in a photo creates a more flattering and less harsh effect than using Photoshop’s Smart Sharpen filter. Selective layer masking restricts the effect to the child’s face.

Last, but not least, I candidly confess that I cloned the cupcake and cinnamon toast off Mathew’s face, and enlarged the catch lights in his eyes.

Most important of all, in Mathew’s words, “Me had good birthday!”

Related story: Dropped in His Tracks.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew the Impossible!

Our two-and-a-half year old Mathew Gabriel was sitting on the living room couch with hair backlit by the sun and face in deep shadow. This would have been an impossible situation in color film photography. Exposing for the highlights would have plunged his face in shadow, exposing for his face would have blown out the highlights, and averaging the exposure wouldn’t have produced good results anywhere.

In traditional portrait photography, an answer would have been to provide fill lighting for Mathew’s face. But Mathew doesn’t sit still. Long before I could have organized the proper lighting he would have found a new activity.

There are a number of ways to fix this exposure problem using digital post-processing. My technique in this case was to combine various different exposures based on the range available in the RAW capture. (The original RAW exposure was biased towards underexposure, because the highlights are the hardest to revive once they’ve been blown.)

Another impossibility: Mathew had a noodle on his nose. No problem at all to de-noodle his nose using Photoshop’s Clone Tool.

Bravo for digital photography!

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew Waking Up

Mathew was not pleased when I woke him after an hour’s nap by snapping this photo. We’ve been trying to curtail his daytime napping so that we can get more sleep at night.

As I’ve noted before, Mathew is a force of nature!

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew in a Tunnel

We got out the Ikea play tent for Mathew, and he and I spent some time crawling through the tunnel. Great fun!

This photo is with my digital fisheye lens. I like the way the seam inside the tunnel makes an apparent spiral around Mathew.

Here’s a photo of Mathew newborn, one of Mathew in a playhouse, and a fisheye of his biggest brother Julian:

Fisheye Julian

Posted in Bemusements, Kids, Photography

Newborn Mathew

I took this photograph of Mathew the day he was born, about eighteen months ago. Is there anything more precious than a newborn baby?

I think the photo shows him resting after the hard work of being born!

Here’s Mathew more recently (in one of my favorite photos of him):

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew in the Kitchen Sink

Mathew in the kitchen sink,
Nicky playing hide and seek,
Julian having photo fun:
Look out! Sand croc in the playground sun!

Nicky Hiding

I take so many pictures of my boys, from time to time as a proud papa I have to work them into my photo blog!

This sand croc was basking up at Step One. I think his missing front teeth neatly balance Mathew’s teeth coming in (see the photo at the beginning of this story).

Sand Croc Rising

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew Playing

It turns out that my new zoom lens with vibration reduction is a great lens for candid shots of the kids. I can hand hold it at lower shutter speeds, the kids don’t really know how close I am getting.

Mathew was looking out a playhouse window, and I snapped this photo this morning up at Step One.

Posted in Kids, Photography

Mathew is One!

Mathew Is One

Mathew Gabriel Davis is one today. Happy birthday Mathew!

Here are some more pictures of Mathew, Nicky, and Julian:



Mathew Is One and Bike

Mathew Is One and Walker

Posted in Kids, Photography