Fiona has been interested in photography for a while, but in the past month or two she’s become more active and intentional in learning more about it and improving her skills. She’s been reading on-line and from books about composition, depth of field, shutter speed, negative space, ISO and so on. And with her iPod she’s been having lots of fun editing photos and using various filters.
The state of photography these days is pretty amazing. I recall when I was her age saving money for months for an instamatic 110 camera with fixed shutter speed and no flash, and then carefully planning every precious shot, waiting weeks to fill my 24-exposure film and then paying more money to have it processed in order to learn a little more from experience. Point, shoot, wait, spend money, maybe learn something. The learning curve was incredibly slow.
These days while the complex intricacies of photography are far more available, the opportunities to learn about them have multiplied a thousand-fold. Take a picture, look at it right away, for free, adjust, reshoot, repeat and over and over. Got a problem you think adjusting the white balance or mid-tone hue might fix? Google a tutorial and try it out. You can climb the learning curve in no time! Combine that advantage with a pretty good natural eye for design and you’ve got a kid who can learn to shoot awesome pictures at age 10.
And now… we’ve bought a new camera. The Nikon D50 we’d purchased when she was a baby was upgraded to a mirrorless compact-interchangeable-lens camera. Now I’m every bit as stoked about photography as she is. Compared to the Nikon it’s tiny; it fits nicely in the palm for one-handed shooting and with the standard 15-50mm lens it will easily tuck into a running backpack. The quality of the photos is amazing and it’s incredibly smart. It arrived last week and we’ve only just begun to explore its capabilities, but already the photos we’re getting are so gratifying.
We’ve joined a Facebook group challenge to take a photo a day during 2014. She has her album and I have mine. When we go out together and shoot the same subject with the same camera we sometimes have to bargain over who gets to post to their album from that series, but it’s a good-natured collaboration and we’re having a lot of fun. She really does have a great eye, and it’s going to be very fun to see how her photography evolves as the year rolls on.