There are so many opportunities for learning throughout the day. Some are obvious but others present themselves to us in disguise.
My son is doing an 8th grade science experiment on light pollution. He takes multiple photos in the same spots throughout the month and measures the amount of light in the photo using an application that examines the light profile of the photo. Ideal conditions for each photo are clear skies after dark and we try to time the photos as close to the same time with each shot as possible – you know, in the interest of science and all.
We’re using the Samsung NX30 and 20mm f/2.8 “pancake” lens for this experiment because of the very specific settings requirements. The “overt” lessons here are on light pollution, but there are more sneaky learnings going on as well.
I have had to teach him manual mode on the camera because he specifically needs to use f/2.8 and ISO200 for all shots. This project has been great for the both of us, because I (obviously) love photography and I’ve been trying to get him interested in it for quite some time. I think it’s something he’d enjoy, because it can be pretty technical (dialing in the settings) but also a creative outlet as well.
We drive all over the city pointing our cameras to the sky, often spending 2 or 3 hours per night on the project. Not only is this his science experiment, but it’s also a perfect opportunity for me to teach him something without him even knowing he’s being taught.
Photography for parents can be pretty challenging.
I have two boys that hardly ever sit still. Taking photos of them is easier said than done. Photography is a learned skill, but it’s also an art, both of which I’d love to pass along to my sons.
Our children don’t always follow in our footsteps; that’s both a good thing and a bad thing sometimes.
A few years ago I had a bit of a creative awakening. I never thought of myself as much of a creative until I started really getting into photography. I always just dismissed myself as a “left-brained” logical thinker that would forever be destined to drawing horrible stick figures and finger painting. Photography has become my outlet to exercise my creative muscles just a bit. I see much of the same in my 13 year old son. He’s very much a thinker and not as much a dreamer.
I’m hopeful pointing our cameras to the sky together each night somehow helps to change that.
As a dad, I feel it’s my duty to help steer him in the direction of skills and behaviors that will help him later in life. As expected at his age, he’s extremely reluctant to try new things that he’s not immediately good at. He’s afraid of going out of his comfort zone. This means he’s afraid of learning new things for fear of failing at them.
I hope this project has shown him that, with a hobby like photography, you can combine creative skills with technical skills to produce something of beauty. There is no such thing as perfection in art, so there is also no such thing as failure.
The above photo was taken of the Samsung NX30 in the middle of one of his experiments. The photo was taken, hand-held, with the Samsung NX500. Below are some of the photos from our little “experiment”. Even if the experiment doesn’t prove his theory, it’s already proven to me how powerful time spent together on an activity like photography can be to a dad and his son.I have two boys that hardly ever sit still. Taking photos of them is easier said than done. Click To Tweet