The indoctrination is going well. The kid has stopped wanting to just look at the back of the camera after I shoot, and now actually wants the camera, and knows how to press the shutter button. In general, I think this is a good thing, especially since it’s not a film camera.
For the record, she does already know how to advance the film on my Bronica. I just want to make the point that I am raising a well-balanced child.
There actually is a point here about photography, beyond the fact that a 22-month-old is taking pictures with radio-triggered off-camera flash, which is awesome (and saying “Cheese!” to boot). She obviously knows nothing of the technical attributes of photography, or how to set a camera (it was in “M” mode, by the way, but I don’t think that matters), and yet the images are more or less technically sound. The images were taken on a D40, with a kit lens, and yet they still look pretty spiffy. What makes a good picture isn’t a great camera, and it isn’t a great lens, and it’s not expensive lights–all of that can be learned by rote. Great photography comes from great ideas, great insight, great understanding, and knowing how to capture expressions and moments, just as great writing is a function of great ideas and not merely a function of grammatical mastery.
I do not want to appear like I am slagging on my daughter’s photography. Although it should be pointed out that she took a very good picture about a year ago:
I think my daughter is off to a pretty good start. She should learn to actually look through the viewfinder…that’s an important step in the learning process. But I still think she’s ahead of the curve.