Monday, October 12, 2009

His #1 fan

Pull my chain
Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2008 [Click to enlarge]

Our eldest son, Zach, took this pic. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I've been handing the DSLR over to him and letting him wander with it. I have to admit a certain, profound level of parental pride as I watch him slowly ponder the merit of a given scene, then decide how he wishes to record it. Like me, he's a deliberate shooter, often hovering over a subject for an inordinately long time before raising the camera and composing.

Often as not, he shakes his head - another trait of mine - and decides the picture simply isn't worth it. In many respects, it's somewhat uncanny to sit off to the side and watch him work. If ever I feel like my footsteps are being followed, it's during moments like this.

My wife and I have always believed in allowing our children to choose what artistic direction they wish to pursue. So when Zach began getting curious about photography, we bought him a point-and-shoot and turned him loose. Now that he's gotten a good feel for this more serious tool, he's becoming more vocal about asking for the camera whenever he sees a story that needs telling.

The game plan is for my current camera to become his when I eventually upgrade. For a teenager, it's a pretty hefty goal. But I wasn't much older than he is now when I walked into a store and bought my first SLR. The difference then was I had no one in my immediate family to guide me. Thankfully, Zach will.

Your turn: Instilling vision in the next generation. Please discuss.

One more thing: Thematic Photographic returns this Wednesday. Theme? Feel free to suggest one. I am profoundly grateful to Mojo for so generously and ably taking over the reins these last few weeks. He didn't just keep it running: He helped guide me toward taking my first tentative steps back into once again capturing, sharing, and doing the things that make me, well, me. I don't know how we'd have fared without such incredible support from such incredible friends.


guppyman said...


You talk about a trait you both have... That you'll decide a picture just isn't worth it....

I have never found that. I am more the "shoot everything and see what works later" type. I'll come in from a few minutes out in the yard with 200 pics of a single flower/bug/whatever...

I guess I just figure I would rather have a bunch I'll never use than to miss the one I really wanted....

I guess we all work in different ways...

Awareness said...

We are the same here.... allowing the kids to find their unique creative side. Like Zach, my daughter Martha has a terrific eye for taking photos. Yesterday, she and I walked though the woods together, each taking photos and pointing out various angles, colour combinations and light rays etc. I havent seen hers yet...can't wait! I know hers are a big notch above mine.
Yes, it's time here to spend a few bucks for a better camera for her. I have a feeling she's going to incorporate photography into whatever her ultimate career will be.

Well done Zach!

ps... Isn't it wonderful to see their confidence soar when they are intensely in the zone?? :)

Rinkly Rimes said...

To me it has a rather sleek predatory look. Fascinating. As a non-photographer (masses of clicking but little else) I look at most photographs from an imaginative rather than a technical perspective.

Robin said...

We used to have the same ceiling fan (except with lights as well - until it exploded one day - you're better off without them).

My son is a bit younger than yours but he too is developing an interest in photography and a halfway decent eye as well. For now he's got my old point and shoot. He'll sometimes head out for a photowalk around the neighborhood, I love seeing what he comes up with to shoot, everything from bougainvillea to shiny new motorcycles.

These are truly the moments that memories are made of, and how lucky we are to be able to share them.

Mojo said...

Yaaay! You can't see it, but this is me doing the Snoopy Dance over here. Not that I haven't felt honored to be managing TP for the last couple of weeks, but it truly is not the same when it's not hosted here in its rightful place. (To which the level of participation will attest.)

I was prepared to carry on for another week though, and had a theme chosen already, which you're welcome to use or not. My thought was "Open". And since Thematic is once again going to be open for business where it ought to be, it seems fitting enough. But I've picked the last two (which were #69 and #70 in case you'd lost count) so feel free to take someone else's advice this week. I swear I won't be upset. ;) I'm too damn happy to see you returning to form for that.

My shooting style is a lot like Guppyman's. Shoot 'em all and let editing sort 'em out. (My younger son refers to it as "Jihad Photography".) Fireworks display? Last year this time I got 600+ shots in 15 minutes. Hockey game? 900 in 2 hours. Air show? 1200 in 3 hours. In a more controlled environment, like when I'm shooting macro work or "still life" that I've arranged, I'll take a little more time. Sometimes a lot more. But it's rare that I decide the shot just isn't working and bag it. It happens, just not often. Even when I was shooting all film I held tight to the motto: "Never take one shot when two will do the job." My reasoning was that film is cheap, but the shot you get because you took two instead of one might be priceless.

Or it might be junk, but that's the point. Back then, you didn't know until the film was processed and you had the results to examine. And even now I find that what looks stellar on the tiny 2.5 inch LCD looks significantly less than stellar when viewed at full resolution.

Neither of my boys ever had much interest in photography, strangely enough. In fact, they found my cameratic predilections... amusing? But like you I've always encouraged them to find their own direction, be it in art or life in general. And in return I've got a couple of young men now that I'm damned proud of. of course, this means I'm not sure which of them to leave my camera gear to in my will, but hopefully I'll still be using it for a while yet.

Welcome back Carmi. And I'll be anxiously waiting to see what the next TP will bring. said...

I love the way you talk about your Children it just shows something of who you really are. X

how about 'technology' for a theme.