NOTE: In the pictures below there are some that I took to help tell the story which are followed by Christian’s picture from that scene.
Read slow so that you can distinguish which pictures were captured by Christian.
It is not a secret that I love photography. The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know. One thing that I love more than me doing it is to teach my children about it. For right now I’ve taken my youngest son Christian under my wing and I’ve been sharing with him what I’ve learned. For the past 1.5 months I’ve really been drilling Christian on aperture fstops, shutter speeds and ISO sensitivity, the color of light, depth of field, composition as well as using creative angles.
Today I planned a project for him that would stretch his imagination and force him to think in a creative manner. I took out my Mole Richardson 750 watt spot light and I gave him the task of photographing his drum set and his brother’s guitar. Here is the catch. He has to use his camera in 100% manual mode. Also, he couldn’t use normal angles and he had to produce an image that was unlike anything that we would see from a normal vantage point. To get him thinking outside the box I had him close one eye and simply move around and look at objects at various heights, angles and distances. By using the one eye approach he was able to see how shapes and visual relationships can be exploited and manipulated to create a visually interesting photograph.
In a nutshell, the most strict requirement was that he have fun and that the photographs be captured with artistic vision. As his 9 year old mind starting churning I ran to grab my other camera so that I could capture him with his thinking cap on. So here we go…
Here is an angle showing the spot light illuminating the drums and if you look close enough you can see Christian behind the drum set trying to setup his shot.
Below is another shot looking over Christian’s shoulder to try to anticipate what he’s trying to do.
Here is the photo that Christian captured with the Sony A100 and to spice it up a bit he turned on the flash to add some blue highlights to the chrome. I was very impressed when I saw this shot but it gets better!
The next task for Christian was to capture his brother’s guitar. We put the guitar on the stand and he went to work.
Here comes one of my favorite photographs from his entire series.
He plopped down on the floor. He placed the guitar on his snare drum ……..
And here it is.
A very sweet shot captured. If he can visualize this at age 9 I can’t imagine what he will be capable of if he sticks with this until he’s a grown man.
When everything was said and done he had given me what I was looking for which was his creativity. Right now I’m a proud papa because he did it all by himself. He had to work the camera in “M”anual mode, figure out white balance, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, depth of field, as well think about how to achieve the picture that he saw in his mind.
What I’m trying to provide him with is a base from which he can build upon. He needs to know that it’s okay to think outside the box because the world is a much more visually interesting place when we look at it from severely altered points of view.
As you can imagine, Christian now has his own set of pictures printed with his name on them and for historical purposes we have another copy in our family photo album for generations to enjoy.
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