(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for May, 2010

Photo assignment: Father’s Day is only three weeks away.

I’m photographing some Dads with their kids for a Father’s Day (which is June 20th, by the way) slideshow.  While I was waiting for some fathers to show up, I took a few shots of my son.  He’s recently taken on modeling (check out Please Mum) and is having a lot of fun with the camera.  This is the look that he’s perfecting right now – the “I know you’re paying attention to me, but I won’t give you the satisfaction of thinking I want your attention” look.

I have to be careful because those precocious looks can be my undoing.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/2000 sec.

Come and play with me

I took piano lessons when I was young.  I think, if memory serves me correctly, I took lessons from when I was in third grade until the eighth grade.  After the eighth grade, my family moved from Saskatchewan to British Columbia and piano became an option.  I chose to not continue.  While I took lessons, I hated to practice and the lessons themselves, well, let me tell you how I felt about the lesson by telling a quick story.  Once, in a moment of juvenile stupidity, I ran my hand down the page to smooth out the pages.  Part way down the page I realized that I was trying to smooth out the staples holding the book together.  I shredded my hand and was never happier because I had just given myself a reason to not practice and miss a lesson.  Ha!  Take that Mrs. puts-on-her-makeup-with-a-spatula-piano-teacher.

Now, my daughter is taking lessons and I’m left wishing that I’d taken my lessons more seriously.  I listened to her sight-reading pieces while playing with her Grandpa Buster this weekend and felt so proud of how well she’s playing and jealous that she’s playing so well so quickly.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 400; 1/100 sec.

When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.

Lord Vader, here, is mounted to my dashboard.  My son and I refer to the minivan as “The Executor,” a Super Star Destroyer made specifically to act as Vader’s flagship.  I am 36 years old and I have a Star Wars obsession.

Funny.  I thought that the first step in fixing the problem was admitting it, but right now I’m just jonesing for a Star Wars fix.  I think I might go watch “Empire Strikes Back” for the 53rd time.  Or maybe one of the animated series.  Or maybe…

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 50mm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/800 sec.

(Why am I celebrating) Post 100!

I wonder when it was that we (let’s say North American society) decided that it was essential to celebrate all things with “anniversaries” and “graduations.”  As a high school teacher I get to hear about the one month anniversary between students so often that I’ve stopped pointing out that “anniversary” actually means something to which one returns on a yearly basis.

I’ve also encountered at least one (my daughter) kindergarten graduation with another one (my son) on the way this June.  Not that I don’t find joy in the milestones of my children but a graduation is the act of conferring on someone a degree.  I know that it’s a beautiful thing to see a bunch of six year olds smiling as their moms take bad photos of them singing some cute rendition of a song that has little to do with “graduating” and everything to do with being cute, but it feels a little like we want to attach gravitas to everything we do.

Can’t we just take joy in something that is wonderful without tacking on a weighty title?  Can’t we just love what we do and see and leave it at that?  Why is it not important enough that my son is moving from kindergarten to grade one that we have to make it a “graduation?”  Why can’t my students make their way from one class to another without some kind of iTunes soundtrack making their lives into a living t.v. show?  Why is it that we take the “pomp”out of everything by attaching “circumstance” to anything?  Did that last sentence even make sense?  I don’t know, but I certainly feel like we’re trying to make every moment in our lives bigger than it actually is.  But, hey, this is just one little blogger sharing his ideas with you.  What do I know?

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f8; ISO 100; 1/320 sec.

Always know what’s being locked in, or out.

Recently I’ve become enamored of locks and chains.  Perhaps it’s the fifteen year old boy living inside my head who still loves firecrackers and matches and the painful comfort of bruises (yes, I poke my bruises, don’t you?) who wants to get past the lock and chain to find out what’s so valuable that it has to be chained in.

The lock and chain below belong to my kids’ school yard.  It is meant to keep vehicles, not people, out of the yard in which children play.  I get it.  Safety.  I don’t want to see some errant Mom, frustrated by the lateness of her children, accidentally hitting the gas instead of the brake and careening into a bunch of children playing tree tag.  Good lock.

The lock below, on the flipside, is on the same grounds as the lock above, but I’ve never once seen it locked.  It is a lock on a dumpster.  Presumably it is there to deter Dads from throwing away their McDonald’s garbage before their kids see it, and make the school pay for the disposal (uh, not that I’ve ever done that).

If I were you, I’d expect to see more lock photos in the coming weeks.  I seem to be on a bit of a kick here.

Pentax K20D; Tokina 28-70mm