A Walk in the Woods Through a Young Child’s Lens
We’ve taken our oldest grandson camping several times, and he loves it! He attends preschool, but last week he got to come camp with us. Although most days were chilly and showers were off & on, we still had a blast. Benjamin’s favorite thing was gathering sticks, having campfires, and roasting marshmallows. Our site and the others around us were stick-free by the time he left! Ben will be five next month.
Before I share the rest of today’s photos, I thought you’d enjoy a little background if you don’t mind the read.
I’ve written in past posts that I’ve been working with Ben and the joy of photography. He’s seen me with a camera in hand since he was born. If he saw my camera laying within his reach, he was always trying to pick it up and bring it to me.
When Ben was 2 1/2, I bought him the $40 V-Tech Kidizoom 1.3MP camera with a 4x zoom that has a dual view finder like binoculars and began teaching him some basics. We’d download and review his photos. I printed the ‘special’ ones for him to keep. The camera produced grainy photos and looked like a toy, but it did work.
It was amazing how quickly Ben began to understand what a camera did, why he had to hold his camera steady for each shot (focus), and why he needed to hold it level (straight). With lots of practice, his photos began to improve dramatically. So this time last year for his 4th birthday, I bought him a refurbished Nikon CoolPix S6800 16MP camera with a 12x zoom for $79. It was overkill, of course, but great quality that I thought would benefit him viewing his work, get him even more interested. Along with it, I bought a small case and then a small shoulder-carrying case to teach him to care for his camera from injury. When he opened and saw his new camera, he beamed. It was a “real one”, he said. With the high cost of cheap toys, it’s the best $79 I ever spent on him!
On our nicest rain-free day last week, Ben and I went to a local county park that had a playground and walking trail. We each had our cameras in tow. Of course, we had to check out the the playground first, and I can’t help but share this next photo as he bounced on the tractor with such determination. All boy!
Ben had been working on trying to photograph the Blue Jays alongside me at our campsite; but wasn’t successful, they took flight before he got them in his camera frame. (“They’re too fast!” he’d say frustratingly.)
So when we arrived at the park, he told me I was in charge of taking bird photos. (He knows I take bird photos, he asks to see them, and I show him my blog. He’s doing very well on bird ID and calls, by the time he left us, he could ID the call of the Blue Jay, American Robin, and Red-bellied Woodpecker.) So first I’ll share my bird shots from our walk in the woods to my birder friends.
Male Northern Cardinal
I actually wasn’t hunting too much for birds, I had to keep up with an anxious photographer who was exploring on his own.
We walked and talked about what we saw and worked on zooming in and out. We found places where animals might live, footprints, and anything else that might be neat to photograph. Ben took 36 photos. Only eight were out of focus and one off-level quite a bit. Pretty darn good, I’d say!
I thought it’d be fun and hope you enjoy the following photos of a walk in the woods through a young child’s lens, sharing a dozen of Ben’s captures. I did not edit any photo, only cropping as full photo to downsize the size of the photo MB and put his copyright signature.
Here we go!
He found some neat-looking lichen and took his shot. He suggested I might want to take a photo of it also. I did, of course!
Ben’s first ‘track’ found. ‘We’ figured out it was a tire mark, not an animal’s. (I love the feet in the photo.)
The next one was a “bear track” per Ben. (It’s not.)
Here’s a tree that “grew laying down and then stood up”, he said.
We talked about up-shots, and he watched me do one first to understand. Isn’t his fantastic?!
After taking this next creek photo, he wanted to know if he could go walking in it. (I sorrowfully said no….)
Ben found what we figured to be a tree root bulging out of the ground, but he said it looked like a peanut (it did) and wanted a photo of it.
Okay, this one is funny. Ben found a pile of you-know-what. Without me saying anything, he took a photo of it and told me he found “fox poop”. (I have no idea who’s it is!) Thank goodness he didn’t suggest I photograph it too! (But I would have if he asked, lol.)
A butterfly or moth…. (upper mid photo)
An animal’s home….
We reviewed his shots when we returned to our campground. He did so well on centering, leveling, focus, and ideas! I told him I would print them and bring them to him this coming week. He said to make sure I printed the ‘fox poop’ photograph. That’s a boy for you…
If you love photography, think about introducing photography to a young child you are close to. You will be amazed on how quickly they learn. And you will be rewarded with a special bond. I know I have!
I hope you enjoyed my ‘featured photographer’. With Ben’s printed pack of photos, I’m off now to spend a few more days with him and his baby brother in their newly acquired home a couple hours away and get some more luvin’ before we begin our road trip West. Keeping up with the grandkids and everything else, I’m definitely behind on comments and the blogs I follow; I’ll catch up soon as I can!