Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Photos save memories

"Stop, grandma! There's a pin!"

I earned my living as a photographer. I documented the lives of others. Sadly, I was awful at documenting my own life. Of course, photography was a lot of trouble when I was young. Film and trips to the store for prints and oodles of expense. Still, none of that provides me with a good excuse.

Today's digital cameras have made all the above history. Today it is point, shoot and download. There are no excuses for not grabbing family photos. My granddaughter, Fiona, understands the value of photos. Images taken today jog one's memory tomorrow.

Recently Fiona helped her grandmother Judy sew some pajamas. Fiona watched for pins and told her grandmother when a pin had to be removed before it could possibly bend or break the needle. When it was time to reverse stitch, Fiona had her hand on the control.

There was one thing left to be done before the two finished the p.j.'s. Fiona had to get her grandfather, me, to take a picture of her sitting on grandma's knee while they completed the pajamas. Fiona said she wanted a picture so that when she was older she could take out the picture and remember the day.

The little kid understands the power of photography. Family photos jog the memory, encouraging us to recall pleasures from the past. (And, as one commenter very correctly pointed out, make a good print or two ASAP or risk losing the image in a disk drive malfunction. Save the image in multiple ways in multiple locations.)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Moments captured

When I told my four-year-old granddaughter that I had earned my living taking pictures, she was amazed. "Gug got paid to take pictures!" she exclaimed. She thought a moment before declaring, "I'm a photographer, too. I take pictures."

She does take pictures and lots. She has been taking pictures now for about a year. I rather like some of the stuff she grabs. For the shot of the family sitting around the table after Sunday dinner, Fiona got down quite low and steadied the camera by bracing herself on the oh-so-solid table.

There are lessons here for everyone.

  • Available light is a nicer light than on-camera flash.
  • In low light situations, brace the camera to lesson camera shake.
  • Moments captured will be great images in the future. Much nicer than say-cheese snaps.
  • Point and shoots, like those in the S-series from Canon, benefit from the fast f/2.0 aperture at wide-angle.
  • Shoot lots. With today's SD cards there is no excuse not to shoot a lot and no flash means minimal bother to your subjects.

Now, get out there and shoot like a four-year-old.