Beauty in a teaching moment that was accepted

July 27, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I have a 12 year old, soon to be 13 year old daughter.  I call her Booh.  She's my most favorite girl in the world.  I love her with all my heart.  But, if all moms of preteen children were honest, like I'm about to be, I don't always like her.  We butt heads, often.  She's strong willed and independent.  As I want her to be.  Except when I'm trying to tell her something!  She's smart and savvy.  As I want her to be.  Except when I'm trying to save her from a mistake.  She is a good great kid.  She knows, most of the time, that she's being crazy and making me crazy.  And, she apologizes, sometimes, for the whole antics.  I know that I did the same to my mom.  Bad news, my mom is dead so I can't call her and apologize.  Again.

Booh is an only child for a few days, just as Stink was last week.  We all slept in a bit late.  She's an Irish dancer and I'd been gone for the weekend with her on, yet another, tour of exotic Midwestern US locations.  We logged about 600 miles in about 55 hours.  So, we were beat.  Thus, the sleeping in.  She had a private practice again tonight, so after having lunch as family, she and I had but a brief time to do her only child thing.  She called for Dairy Queen.  I said, you do know that not all meals end with dessert, right?  I got the YES. and an eyeroll.  We came back home to drop off the husband/dad to go back to work and for her to pack her bag for dance practice.  We had only about an hour and half to do whatever.  But, NOT Dairy Queen.

She's been asking for some time, to learn how to use the camera I'd purchased for mom about a year before Mom died.  Booh's used it a couple of times, but without help and all on auto.  So, I started packing up that kit and told her we were heading out.  Since it wasn't her plan, I was met with more crappy looks and sighs.  I just kept on going and we drove to Montrose Harbor here in Chicago.  It is one of my absolute favorite places in the city.  Even when bustling with people, you can carve out a quiet bit.  The whole park was alive today.  Lots of beach traffic and boats heading in and out of the harbor.  Fisherman.  Joggers.  Walkers.  Sailors.  Mexican cart vendors with their ices and elote.  Seagulls and the damn geese.  People picnicking.  Blankets on the grass.  Sunbathers.  But, it is still possible to find a moment of peace.  This is where I go when life deals me a curveball and I need to process, to think, to cry, to gain strength.

I've taken the kids there before.  But, this time, I took just Booh and I took the camera.  This time, for her to use.  We talked basic stuff on the way there.  Shutter, aperture, depth of field.  She perked up on DOF and explained what they'd learned in art and how it applied to social studies.  And she was well on the right track and I told her that.  Disdain for this non Dairy Queen adventure seemed to turn a bit at that point.  We found some parking and did some basic, intro to a camera that's not on auto work.  She took to it so easily.  I clearly should have MADE time to do this earlier.  And, somehow, me, the anti-teacher, found some patience.

Booh + CameraNifty Fifty and my girl

(taken with Samsung Galaxy S5, edited in Adobe Photoshop and Totally Rad's RadLab)

I set her up with my nifty fifty.  Nikkor 50mm f/1.4  I let her play with a few other lenses, but we came back to this one.  I learned on a nifty fifty and I, being an old fart, thought it best to teach on that.  We did some aperture work today regarding depth of field (DOF.)  She's dying to do macro work, though.  Sadly, my old macro doesn't respond with this newer body, but I told her, work that lens you've on now.  Push it and try things. DSC_0100Booh's picture (taken with Nikon D3100 and 50mm f/1.4.  1/640s at 50mm, ISO 100, SOOC with no in camera or post processing)

While not tack sharp, I'm proud of her for giving this a shot.  This, along with mid range and far range subjects and changing apertures, I think she's got a decent feel for depth of field.  The much BIGGER thing?!?  She and I worked together.  No fighting.  No sass from her.  No anger from me.  She recognized me as knowing more than her and she let me teach her.  And, I was able to teach her.  It was a beautiful day.

 


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