Family: Lily reading

A good book "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus"

I staged this photo. That’s my confession. The roll of my film in my Rolleiflex had one shot remaining. I couldn’t stand the weight of the other 11 images waiting to be released from their celliod prison so I opened the curtains and sat Lily on the most interesting chair I could find.

One may ask: Why the sock in the lower right corner? What about the blanket on the other corner? I would answer that  I like a little clutter in my photographs. It helps add visual texture. Plus it gives the viewer clues to the photographic puzzle. In photography you exclude things. In painting you include things.

I am not a painter. I am too impatient for that nonsense.

I have a natural inclination towards design and asthetics. Add that to impatience coupled with a great desire to create and you have the classic formula for a photographer.

My brother has a natural inclination to athletics. He is also impatient.


Technical notes, philosophical data and photo tips

Rolleiflex fx 1/30 sec f 5.6. Potra 160NC

The light hitting Lily from the window  is skylight. Skylight is the light coming from the blue sky, it’s not sunlight. It’s what fills in the shadows outdoors.

Without it the sun would create extreme shadows and we would only see the surfaces that were struck by the sunlight. Like the moon. Skylight is the shadows. It’s mysterious because you don’t know it’s there. You take it for granted until you realize that it’s there.

Skylight is blue/purplish in color.

On you digital cameras it’s the white balance setting that is illustrated by a row of lines that look like a shadow.

The light in the bathroom behind Lily is tungsten light. It is orange in color.

The two of them together are interesting. You need to choose one to color balance for.

In this case Lily is bathed in skylight the image is balanced to that light source. That’s why the light in the bathroom is orange. If she was in the light of the bathroom and we balanced her for the tungsten light then the room outside of the bathroom would be blue/purplish. Its relative

I shot this image on Portra 160NC film. Color negative film is incredible stuff. You can select your color balance after the fact. With digital photography you need to select it at the time that you shoot. You could argue that shooting RAW images with the digital camera does basically the same thing.

-Jon Ball is a pro. He lives in Boise Idaho. Thank you for reading photo tips



  1. Love this. Your kids will adore having these photos when they get older!! I wish I had a few great shots of me on a bike or reading at 10 or 11.

  2. I wish that I had some photos of me too. All of mine are either at a birthday or at Christmas. Nothing do do with normal life. The average day is what becomes interesting in the future. That’s what anthropologists study.

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