working with my 6yr old

zitro_joeAugust 12, 2011

She wants to learn the big camera. We spent last week discussing aperture and shutter speed... it was as much fun as it was difficult. This was the favorite that she took of her brother.

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I can easily see why that shot would be the favorite for a six year old beginner,,,in fact I know many adults that would be proud of that shot.....LOL

From what I can see in that shot it also says a lot for how you are teaching her. It appears that you have set up a basic studio portrait situation with a seamless backdrop and a main light on the right hand side of the camera and just slightly higher than the camera.

It is difficult to be certain, but it also appears that you had a fill light on the opposite side of the camera and about the same height as the camera.

Focus is perfect.

But then we also have to give your daughter credit for choosing the best looking model at her disposal too...Great eye.....LOL

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 12:58PM
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The aperture talk lead to a DOF discussion. I lost her on that.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Joe..send me an email and I will return a couple classroom training aids I made. One on exposure and one on DOF

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 7:53PM
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A very good photo!

I think the lighting is excellent. The photo is way better than anything I could take.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 10:12PM
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What a great start! Looks like photography will run in the family. And she had a very cute model, too.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:12PM
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What a handsome boy! Do we get to see a pic of the photographer, too?

My dad taught me about speed and aperture when I was ten. I thought that was young, but now I see that I was delayed! :-)

I didn't get into DOF until I was in my twenties (even more delayed!). Your daughter is going to love photography her whole life. My dad could say the same about me, and that made him happy.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:35PM
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Kentucky 8b,

I think I would like to make a minor correction on your previous statement;

You said, "The photo is way better than anything I could take."

I think Zitro Joe, Joan Mn & Alisande would agree with me that the photo above may be better than what you can take now, but the fact that the photo was taken by a 6yr old proves that with proper training anyone can aspire beyond the realm of point & shoot, or more aptly "Point & Hope"

Far too often we see ppl who come into the forum asking what camera they should buy, and suffering under the strange delusion that if they had a professional camera it would in some way insure they would always make professional quality photo's, but alas, nothing could be futher from the truth. No matter what camera or lens combination one has, if all they do is set the camera in an auto exposure mode, it is still nothing more than a point & shoot camera.

On the other hand, a trained photographer understands that the camera & lens are merely tools, and yes, we strive to have the best quality tools we can afford, but if we were hard pressed to do it, I personally have yet to see a photo taken with digital that we could not have made with a totally manual camera film camera 50 years ago.

I doubt if Ansel Adams ever had an opportunity to hold a digital camera, but he still remains perhaps one of the greatest "Master Photographers" of all time.

The real key to successful photography is when you reach the point that you no longer look through the viewfinder to see what you can shoot but rather when you understand the working mechanics of your camera to the point that you can see an image in your minds eye, and you know how to set up the camera to capture that image.

As Alisand pointed out, she learned exposure control at ten yrs old, but didn't learn Depth of Field until ten years later...If anyone aspires to become a good photographer I can tell you first hand it will take weeks, months and even years of self study & practice and during that time you will make thousands of mistakes but if you can hang in there and use those mistakes as learning tools you will be amazed at how much fun you can have in this hobby, and who knows, you may even be a highly recognized pro someday. The key is to just keep learning and having fun.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Very true LP. I always have people ask "what camera did you take that with?" My response is always " that's irrelevant"

We are fortunate enough to be able to travel a bit on the road and I gave a Abigail a camera to pictures so she could document her thoughts on these trips, she would take pictures and write thoughts about the pictures. That turned into slide shows that she made. Then I showed her the video options and she now she makes little travel documentaries. When I do a shoot she would just sit and soak it all in. She is okay with focal point and somewhat good on shutter speeds. She understands a blown highlight and we are working on the "what to do to fix that" right now. The battle is putting it all together. She is 6 so the critical thinking skills are still developing. There is always something new to learn; styles change and sometimes you have to do you best to create what another person wants.

Other than their schoolwork we never force anything on the kids. They are naturally interested in the things we do and they take an interest. I run almost every morning and one day a week they get to go run with me, they love it. They love gardening as well. There is one thing my is not happy they picked up; I teach the military hand to hand combative course at my base and the kids love that, too. Honestly, I can attribute the kids interest in these activities to the fact that we do not own a video game system. I did not own one until I was 13-14(?) and I really dont plan on them having one until that time.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 3:02PM
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She did a really nice job on her brother!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:53PM
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