ADVERTISEMENT

Cam-Foolery

March 30, 2007
0705_m_famcamfool
These goofy trick shots--headless little sister! Gigantic sneaker!--are guaranteed to get the kids to smile.

Getting kids to smile in the same tired old poses can be a chore--and will probably result in boring, forgettable photos. To spruce up the family album, try some goofy trick shots. We got these ideas from a book called Tricky Pix, which unfortunately is going out of print soon (klutz.com, $20).

Gigantic sneaker: Find a simple background that has a uniform look and color scheme, as well as a slight slope. A grassy hill is perfect. Place the sneaker on the ground--the photographer will snap shots at very close range. Have a child pose at the spot up the hill where it appears she's inside the sneaker.

The long stretch: This one works best with two children who are about the same size. Each hides half of her body behind a tree, giving the appearance of an extra-long torso.

Headless little sister: The key is to make sure that the head and hair of the child facing away from the camera are completely out of view. The photographer should shoot from about the same height as the wall or ledge that is shielding the second child's body from view.

Flexible sunbather: One child lies on his belly, while another lies on top of him with legs propped as in photo above. The photographer gets low to keep the illusion that there's one very flexible person on the beach.

Brother bowling ball: This is the same basic idea as the "headless little sister" shot: Be sure that no body part of the person being the "head" is visible. Make a ghoulish face or just play it casual.

Mom in hand: Like the "gigantic sneaker" shot, this one requires a plain, slightly sloping background. The palm of the person in front should be flat or angled slightly away from the camera.

Keep reading

America's Most Scenic Train Rides

Arizona: After watching a staged shoot-out in Williams, passengers board the Grand Canyon Railway for a two-hour ride to the canyon's rim--where they have four hours to explore before the return trip. 800/843-8724, thetrain.com, from $65, $30--$40 kids. Near Sedona, four-hour Verde Canyon Railroad excursions wind through an isolated red-rock canyon where bald eagles nest. 800/320-0718, verdecanyonrr.com, from $65, $35 kids. California: The Sierra Railroad's 1897-era train has appeared in more than 300 films, including High Noon and Unforgiven, and departs from Oakdale, about an hour east of San Francisco, on themed excursions such as the Wild West ride. Watch out: At one point, the train gets "attacked" by a pack of ornery outlaws. 800/866-1690, sierrarailroad.com, from $49, $25 kids. Colorado: The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, America's highest and longest narrow-gauge line, has been traversing the southern Rockies since 1880. Tours, which last six to eight hours, cross high trestles, edge along precipitous gorges, and chug through mountain tunnels. 888/286-2737, cumbrestoltec.com, from $62, $31 kids, including lunch. Massachusetts: Departing from Hyannis, the Cape Cod Central Railroad passes through woodlands and cranberry bogs on a two-hour trip. A one-hour boat add-on gives a peek of the Kennedy Compound. 888/797-7245, capetrain.com, from $18, $14 kids. Washington: On the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad, a vintage 1920s steam locomotive heads off from Mineral, 80 miles from Seattle, on a 90-minute ride through deep woods and past waterfalls--with many opportunities to spot 14,410-foot-high Rainier (if the clouds cooperate). 360/569-2588, mrsr.com, $15, $12 kids. West Virginia: Deep in the Appalachians, the Cass Scenic Railroad is part of a state park that has a preserved lumber town at its center. The train switchbacks up 11 percent grades on the five-hour ride to Bald Knob, the state's second-highest point. Dinner trains feature bluegrass music or murder mysteries. 304/456-4300, cassrailroad.com, from $15, kids $10.

ADVERTISEMENT