(mostly) daily photoblog

Posts tagged “children

Pensive child

…although, it could be boredom.  I can’t tell if he was posing and making sure that I snapped a few photos of him, or if he was bored and didn’t care that I was photographing him.

Oh, and for those of you who are new here, he’s my son.

Youth is…




Is it awe…or ahhh?

My son and I went for a hike Monday and we had a great little walk and talk.  I have to admit that I’m more out of shape than I’d like to be, but I am working on it.

My son, however, kept telling me how tired he was, but spent the entire hike swinging a stick at everything and taking three steps for every one of mine.  He exerted himself far more than I did and then came home to jump on the trampoline.  I came home and sat down on the couch.

The photo above is him checking out our local cedars.  They’re always beautiful and smell so great.  He was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their height.

Here’s my son, in colour this time (and yes, I’m Canadian)

I was asked yesterday what the photo of my son would look like in colour.  So I processed one of him, intently checking out a Star Wars/Transformers toy in his hands while sitting on a dock at Cultus Lake.  I had to monkey with the contrast in curves and definitely played with Burn and Dodge because I really shot this with black and white in mind.  I hope you like it.

p.s.  It occurred to me that my horizon was totally crap yesterday.  I don’t know how I missed that.

p.p.s.  Also, we add a “u” to a number of words here in Canada, hence the “u” in color.  Colour.  Same word.  Different spelling.

“Look what I can do!”

I took these three photos and stitched them together.  The vista of my backyard, the mountains in the background, the umbrella on my deck were too tempting to resist.  I snapped a good number of photos while on my deck, admiring God’s handiwork.  It’s like He came down on Sunday night and said, like an excited four year old clutching a crayoned piece of paper, “Look what I can do!”

Pretty cool.

Please feel free to click on it to see the full size version in detail.

Weekly Photo Challenge: UP!

The kids and I had a wonderful weekend, with a lot of activity.  This is but one.  It’s not the most beautiful photo from a technical standpoint, but it’s one of the most beautiful photos I’ve taken because it’s my daughter executing a possible broken neck over a sprinkler shooting through a trampoline.  Not a great backdrop, nor is it in the best focus, but it’s fun.

Oh, and she’s UP.


Pinky Winky…not to be confused with a Teletubbie…Teletubby…whatever

When my daughter was little, my wife let her watch Teletubbies.  I thought it was like Sesame Street on LSD, but my daughter, in all her toddler glory, loved the show.  Plus, my wife was a full-time, first-time mother and needed a bit of downtime and the Teletubbies were there to rescue her from having to chase my daughter.  I should also note that my daughter decided at the age of 17 months that she was no longer napping at all and that we’d all pay a price if we didn’t take heed of her demands, so sleep and rest during the day was not happening around the Bergen household.

Anyway, there’s a Teletubby (or is it “ie”?) whose name is Tinky Winky.  I’m not sure if he…she…it was the start of the furor back about a decade ago.  The furor was around the fact that Tinky Winky, who was mistaken by conservative, right-wing media and parents’ groups as being a human male, was carrying around a big bag that resembled a purse.  Parents’ groups were worried that Tinky Winky was sending the wrong message about what it meant to be male.  Really?  Go look at Tinky Winky.  Does it look male, let alone human?  It looks bipedal with a head and arms, but that’s about where the comparison ends.  I don’t think it even has genitals, although I’m not looking it up to check.  Maybe that’s what that thing is on top, although it could be a communication device to talk to the saucer people.  Whatever.  Now, almost every grown male I know has a “satchel” or “shoulder bag” or “man-bag” and none of us are worried that we’re sending the wrong message to our kids.

So what does this have to do with the photo?  When I told my friends Josh and Karina that we had planted Pinky Winky Hydrangeas in the back yard, Josh looked at me and said, “You planted a Teletubbie in your backyard?”  Yup, we planted Tinky Winky.

Beach + Children = fun parenting

This was the most fun aspect of camping in Oregon.  My kids love the beach, the water, the sun so camping on the Oregon Coast is dead easy.  We spent most of the days running in and out of the surf, lying on the sand, building sand castles and flinging floaty pieces of wood into the waves.  There was no need for discipline.  There was little need for parenting skills.  The kids never fought as long as they were on the beach.  It was awesome.  I need to somehow move a beach into my house.



Parenting takes love and courage

“In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything.  You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage. ” – Bill Cosby

Above are my two beautiful children.  I love them more than my own life.  But they have spawned in me some complete confusion and inspired love.  Let me give you a couple of examples:

1. When we were traveling to Oregon only a scant two weeks ago, my children made me so proud.  The happily dealt with a full day of traveling, followed by five days of bliss.  They got along.  They saved small aquatic animals from death.  They found utter joy in throwing a stick in the ocean, only to chase it down the beach, rescue it from the surf and throw it right back in.  They comforted me when, in a fit of stupidity I thought I was younger than I am, I hurled myself into and over a railing, leaving a sizable dent in my shin.  They were stupendous.  And for a brief and amazing moment, I thought, “We’re amazing parents.  We should write books.”

2.  My children decided last night that they wanted to sleep in our basement in our original three-man tent.  At 10:00, my wife found them lying in the tent with the lights out but their Nintendo DS’s fully engaged when they were supposed to be fast asleep.  After a stern, but amused, talking-to, they went to sleep.  At 2:00 in the morning, my daughter came upstairs to the living room, where my wife chose to sleep so she could “hear the children”, to inform my wife that she could not sleep.  My wife made her way to the basement, where she slept in the tent on the floor so that the children could continue their adventure.  This morning, after a dearth of sleep, my children proceeded to fight with each other at such a volume that even I could not ignore it.  And for a brief and groggy moment, I thought, “What were we thinking when we thought we could be parents?”

In the span of two weeks I’ve gone from proud and maybe a little arrogant parent to a bewildered and short-fused parent.  I love my children, but this parenting thing?  Well, I can’t have one without the other.

Do you remember how long your attention span was when you were little and cute?

In the midst of all the formality and ritual and ceremony, this little girl took time out to fiddle with her mom’s phone.  No one was paying attention to her and she seemed kind of bored with all the adult stuff going on around her.

After the wedding, my wife, who was sitting quite a distance away from me (ladies on one side of the temple, men on the other), pointed out that a good many of the ladies around her were busy on their phones and, “wasn’t that just a bit disrespectful?”

So, if my social understanding is correct, if I had been on my phone during the wedding I would have been thought rude.  But if I was a five year old girl, everyone would think I was cute and they’d be totally understanding.  Hmmm…unfair?



The Invincible Bob

Bob was pretty sure that he was at a disadvantage when it came to experience.  Captains Blackbeard, Sparrow and Barbossa all had a great deal more pirate experience than he did.  If it came down to a fair fight, he would lose.  Bob wasn’t even sure he was correctly holding the sword.  In fact, if he were to admit it, he was pretty sure he wasn’t holding it correctly.

He did, however, hold one distinct advantage over his opponents.  He was already dead.


Contemplative? Pensive? Thoughtful? Exasperated?

I really don’t know what she’s thinking.

We, my daughter and I, went for a walk tonight.  While walking, we heard bagpipes so we followed the sound.  The further we walked, the louder the pipes got.  We found the pipers were practicing on Canadian military grounds and we’re not allowed to trespass on their land, so we had to walk considerably farther to get near them.  Part of the old Army base (the base has been greatly reduced in the last ten years) has been turned into a presentation center for a local housing development, so my daughter and I sat and listened as the bagpipes (complete with kilts) played near us.  I managed to capture a few shots of her, but I liked this one best.

I really don’t know what she’s thinking; maybe this is a “choose your own emotion” photo.

Once more, we go out to Ben at the lake.

The best part of this shot is Ben’s puffy vest.  When my wife first got it for him, he looked unsure of what he was supposed to do with it.  The only thing he has that looks like this vest is a sleeping bag, and he seemed to think we were pulling a prank on him.  Why I love it is that Ben’s the kid who needs some extra size to him.  He’s the skinniest boy I know.  I was, apparently, just like him when I was little, but you’d never know it now.  It’s hard to believe the kind of changes that I will witness as he grows up.

I wonder what my parents thought as I grew up?

Bowling with the kids.

Good golly she’s growing up.  Stop.  Stop growing up.

One of many reasons that I don’t want to go back to work.

I am a teacher.  I get two months off work over summer, two weeks at Christmas and another two in Spring.  I have a pretty amazing job when it comes to holidays.  I can justify it to people I know who are not in the teaching field by saying that I am only paid for ten months of work and that I take two months unpaid, but it doesn’t make my job any less awesome for holidays.

I love my summers.  One thing I was not prepared for, however, was how emotionally attached I would become to my holidays.  But that was before I had children.  Now, I spend the first week getting used to being at home and follow that up with seven weeks of doing nothing but spending time with them.  Days, while my wife was at work, with them and I going to bookstores, parks, lakes, trails, skate parks and, well, you get the idea.  Now, with school starting tomorrow, I’m in mourning.  My daughter and I took a walk this weekend to buy our favorite Greek yogurt and stopped at the fountains at the nearby condominium development.  I don’t know to what tune she was dancing but she climbed to a spot a short distance away from me and got down to a song I couldn’t hear.

It’s not that we won’t have those moments now that school has started, but we won’t have the luxury of doing them whenever we like.

She is a reason I don’t want to go back to work.

I just put it right there!

Someday, when my kids are grown up, I will be able to walk along the trail by the river.  As long as my kids are along, however, we must spend time in or next to the river.  My son has to be reminded regularly that the river is moving very quickly and that falling in might be disastrous.  His response is always, “I know.  I won’t.  I know.”

So when we went to the river yesterday, I reminded him of all the dangers involved.  Then he decided to take off his Crocs to wash the mud out of them.

My wife:  “Don’t lose your shoes down the river.”

Ben:  “I know.  I won’t.  I know.”

My wife:  “Where’s your other shoe?”

Ben:  “I put it right there (pointing at the shore behind him).”

My wife:  “Well, where is it?”

Ben:  “I just put it right there (with indignation).”

My wife:  “It’s not there now.”

Ben:  “But I just put it right there!  (big pause)  Uh oh.”

Ben was carried from the river back to the vehicle, so he was rewarded.  My wife and I, who shared carrying duties, were punished for not stapling Ben’s shoes to his feet.  Oh, and the photo above, those are Ben’s feet after the mishap.

Pentax K20D; Pentax DA 18-55mm AL II; f5.6; ISO 100; 1/640 sec.

Summer joy with total abandon

Is this not the picture of the joy of summer?

We went to a little work BBQ for my wife and the kids got to do a little swimming in the pool.  Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I just went at a swimming pool with total abandon like my son is doing above.  The arms akimbo, the momentary flight, the lack of concern for personal safety (while wearing a life jacket, mind you) makes me smile.  In a time when playgrounds are being made more and more safe and people who, apparently, were never children are making decisions about child safety it’s wondrous to let my son run on the deck of a pool and jump in with total effort.

Pentax K20D; Pentax M SMC 5omm; f1.7; ISO 100; 1/200 sec.

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.