my kid took this one: Killbear Provincial Park
So hey, check out the new photographer on the block! It’s Personally Junior. He went on a camping trip with his Oma and Opa (my parents, God bless them) and Opa took the opportunity to teach him a bit of photography with a li’l ol’ Canon G11 point and shoot. Opa has infinite patience for teaching, and Oma has infinite patience for board games (did I mention…God bless them!) so PJ was well spoiled for the week.
When I try to teach him something there’s a lot of eye-rolling and growling involved
But wow! when I finally sat down with him to download his memory card, my heart did a few little skips and I might have even gotten a little lump in my throat. The pictures were good. Really really good! I could have picked quite a few of them, but if you’ve been in northern Ontario you’ll know that this really captures the Canadian Shield scenery. The sometimes moody weather, the windswept rocky islands in the middle of the lakes, tall grasses growing along the shore. Love.
1. Take it outside
Nature provides great subject matter for learning photography. If you’re looking to practice your photography or learn something new with it…take it outside. Landscapes, macro photography, composition, depth of field, texture, light and shadows, perspective…all of these lessons can be practiced with beautiful subject matter that mostly stays still.
Keep your love of nature, for that is the way to understand art more and more.
-Vincent van Gogh
2. There’s two ways to preview
On the screen and through the eyepiece. On the screen has the distractions of everything else in your field of view, it’s a flat two-dimensional surface, but it’s easier.
Through the eyepiece you can see exactly what the lens sees. Well, pretty much but that’s a lengthy technical discussion…if it fascinates you here’s a thorough discussion. And for a more whimsical discussion, which I recommend, definitely read Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll if you haven’t yet. Or read it again.
“Well, now that we have seen each other,” said the unicorn,
“If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”
But I digress. I was saying, through the eyepiece you can see the way the lens sees without anything distracting in your field of view. But it’s harder. As PJ says, especially harder to hold the camera still while you press the shutter, and harder to shoot from a tricky angle like down low or way up high. True.
How do you take your photos..through the eyepiece or from the display? And for those of you looking through the glass, which eye do you use? I’m right-eye. Apparently casual surveys show a breakdown of right eye/left eye/both eyes is 60/35/5. Both eyes…weird.
3. Opa showed me how
It’s true we live in an age of self-help. You can buy books to teach yourself how to do anything. Check the bookstore aisles for (Insert Topic Here) for Dummies and you’ll find help for anything under the sun. Or if not of course you can google it.
What year did google become a verb? 2006
Or even better, find a youtube video. Well, and even better still, have a mentor. Is there anything better than having someone wise and experienced to take you under their wing and set you in the right direction, teaching you the ropes as you go along? I can’t even believe what my kid was able to accomplish with his Opa as a mentor.
He had some beautiful shots with shallow depth of field, super low angles, clever composition, and when I asked him how he did it his answer was always…Opa showed me how.