Unexpected portrait

In the Czech Republic, we celebrate a name day, the date of the year when our name is presented in a Czech calendar. It’s the same date every year. A few days ago my younger son had his name day and he was thrilled to get a T-shirt with the name of one of his favourite bands as a few days before that he had got a cap with the same name. He also got chocolate fish he liked and he came up with the idea to take a selfie to preserve the memory of the presents. I offered to use my camera to get a decent shot and when he accepted, I took him outside to find a better place for shooting than inside.

Frankly, I wasn’t quite satisfied with the shooting as he was very impatient and I needed more time to think about the conditions but I took a few snapshots. Eventually I discovered one photo among them which I really liked and which I would like to share here, with my son’s permission. I’m not into portraits and this is no fancy one but the fleeting opportunity came unplanned and I’m quite happy about this particular capture it left behind.


Here is a black-and-white version that I find even more interesting than the colourful photo above.


One photographic note at the end: Would you guess which mistake I made when taking the photo that I especially needed to correct when processing the image? I underestimated the darkness of the scenery… The gate at the background was dark, the T-shirt and the cap were dark as well, and thus the camera thought the photo needed to get lighter and increased the exposure. The resulting photo was too greyish then and I needed to bring the blacks back in the editing. I could have avoided that if I manually decreased the exposure before taking the photo and that was a good lesson to learn.



  1. Every new photo is an opportunity for learning. I like the light on your son's face. He looks so innocent and sweet – but best not tell him I said that! Happy Name Day to him.

    1. Sandy, thank you so much! In my opinion, good b&w photos are not easy to achieve as they need more of tonal contrast than coloured photos. This b&w photo comes from the photo in colours above but is not just converted, it is processed further. I thought it might work here and it did, I really like the result.

  2. I can imagine trying to corral your son long enough to get a decent photo of him, but you succeeded nicely. I prefer the color image, but that's purely personal preference. I can appreciate what you've achieved with the black and white one, too. Back when I was in school, I had a pen pal in Austria; and I remember that she talked about name day. I have to ask you…what's a chocolate fish? I love chocolate, but I can't imagine it on fish. 🙂

    1. Linda, thank you. By ‘chocolate fish’ I didn’t mean real fish covered in chocolate but fish made of chocolate, i.e. chocolate in the shape of fish. The fish was made from white chocolate and was about 20 centimetres long!

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