This is the off-season for pictures in the northeastern states. The bright gold of early sprint has long passed. The flowers and lush foliage of summer is just a memory. Golden autumn is past and winter, with its white icing, has not arrived. It is not a photogenic time of year. It’s a challenge to find things to shoot. Nonetheless, Kaity and I hit the road.
She has her learner’s permit now, so now she drives and I sit. Neither of us has any sense of direction. We are lost most of the time, only to discover that when we next turn, we are really just around the corner from home. Still, we always find someplace we’ve never been before. Today we discovered Skull Rock Locks, another piece of the ubiquitous Blackstone River. We didn’t see the locks, but found the river. It’s never far away.
When a grandchild shares a passion for photography with you, it is a wonderful gift. It can be very hard to connect with teenagers unless you are one. When they hit their teenage years, as often as not they want nothing to do with you. You are just one of the old people and vaguely embarrassing as they try their wings and discover independence. Eventually, most of them get past that stage and ultimately realize you aren’t a total loser after all, Maybe you even have something to say. It doesn’t mean they’ll listen, but there’s hope.
If your teenage child or grandchild genuinely enjoys doing something with you, that’s special. In sharing an activity, you get to meet as equals. In this case, the meeting ground is photography. She has stuff to learn … most of the technical aspects of photography are still mysterious to her, one of the big disadvantages of the easy availability of fully automatic modes on all cameras, but also because she shows a definite lack of enthusiasm for technical stuff. She will have to learn it and she does know it. She’s just delaying it as long as possible.
Still, she loves taking pictures, has a good eye and a unique viewpoint. When granny suggests going out and doing some shooting, if our schedules can be synched up, we’re out there, getting lost on back roads, discovering new areas of the Blackstone River as it winds through our valley.
I think we are both surprised at how many little parks and boat launch sites can be found throughout the valley. Today we found the Skull Rock Locks, a piece of the Blackstone we’d never heard of and may well never find again.
We took pictures. Since this was the first outing for my new portrait lens, I took pictures of Kaity as photographer. Usually she declines being photographed, but I did point out that I had a portrait lens and she was the only person to be found, so she gave in.
This is the first time in a quite a while I’ve had a portrait lens, and the first time in years I’ve worked with a fixed focal length (prime) lens. I kept trying to get it to zoom, which of course, it won’t do. Fixed focal length mean that your zoom are your feet. You want to get closer? Walk or run, but the lens won’t do it for you.
The lens also turns out lovely landscapes. Good lens, glad I bought it.
You can see Kaity’s pictures from today on Kaity Michelle’s Photo Page on Facebook.
- Prime Lenses (nikonusa.com)
- Zoom Lens Maximum Aperture: Fixed and Variable Apertures (nikonusa.com)
- Understanding Focal Length (nikonusa.com)