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Author Topic: How old do you have to be to start learning?  (Read 2341 times)

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Dan

« on: September 27, 2011, 15:03 »
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  I  have  a  3  year  old  nephew  whom  i'm  trying  to  teach  photography  (basic  -  not  stock).  Since  my  camera  is  a  $600  plus  i  never  leave  his  side.  This  was  taken  from  the  porch  on  a  rainy - dreary  day.  I  was  wondering  what  i  could  tell  a  3  year  old  (that  he  would  understand) how  to  do  better?



« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 15:18 »
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ahah thats a very cool topic :)

sometimes I "give" my camera to my nephew too, he is 7, I hold it with him obviously and he snap around, I am trying to show him how to compose and look for details but not easy once I believe the thing he enjoys more is the sound of the shutter  ;D

« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 15:21 »
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If the 3 year old were asked why he wanted to learn about photography, what would the answer be?

Seems to me (my own kids are older now, but I do recall them dabbling in photography with a camera) that kids that age just want pictures of where they've been and friends/family. In other words the interest is in remembering the moment, not in the making of a photograph. As such a good smart phone or rugged point and shoot would do all they need.

I think it'd be the rare 3 year old that could learn about the technical issues of getting a shot or composition. Depending on his answer about why he wants to learn, perhaps that isn't really what he wants just yet. Not to mention the size of their hands around larger cameras - is yours a point and shoot or DSLR?

Perhaps you could do things as a team - he says what he wants to photograph, you set up the camera given the circumstances and let him take the shot. If he doesn't like something about what he takes, ask what he wanted instead and then talk about how to get that. You set the camera up again, he takes another shot and then he can compare. I'd suggest no flash at all at the beginning as it's just one more thing to learn about.

Dan

« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 15:25 »
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  No  its  not  a  point  and  shoot.  A  Nikon  D3000.

« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 15:27 »
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Unless the three year old is some kind of boy wonder nothing you tell him will make much difference. He will forget it when the next fun thing shows up. Not sure if you can give him a lecture on lighting that would make much sense unless it was connected in some way to Elmo or SpongeBob (if you're in the US). At least he can hold the camera straight, a good start. Perhaps just teaching him to become familiar with the camera, letting him look through the viewfinder (or lcd screen) and pressing the shutter will give him the general idea. Getting him to become more comfortable with the camera might translate to something, someday. He probably doesn't think his photo is in any way "bad" and you don't want to stifle his creativity with too many rules. Kind of like coloring inside the lines - do you try to get a child to do that, or not do that.

« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 15:30 »
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3-Year-Old Photographer Makes National Television News
http://www.petapixel.com/2010/05/15/3-year-old-photographer-makes-national-news/

« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 16:01 »
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Odds are if he is anything like my 3 year old he is interested because you are doing it and as a role model he is emulating you. My 3 year old likes to draw because he sees me doing it. We both get satisfaction out of the act of him drawing rather than the result. Keep encouraging him and he will love it. That love will turn into a passion and the rest will follow.
Way to go! Kids need creative role models and constructive, healthy hobbies.

Dan

« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2011, 17:34 »
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  I  have  to  agree  that  he  does  it  partly  because  i  do.  I  know  you  can't  lecture  a  child  on  something  like  this.  But  he  does  remember  things  you  tell  him  and  he  likes  to  learn.  Maybe  that  little  girl  in  the  video  has  competition.

digitalexpressionimages

« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 17:41 »
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Most likely what you'll accomplish by trying to show him how to improve is to make it not fun anymore. Let him shoot what and how he likes, let the images be either good or awful and if he still has an interest in it in a couple of years, start to show him things then.

Dan

« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2011, 09:11 »
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  I  don't  tell  him  he  made  a  bad  pic.  i  just  let  him  be  his  self.  He  shoots  what  he  wants.  I  just  wanted  a  critique  of  this  photo.  He  has  some  bett  and  he  has  some  worst.

rinderart

« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2011, 23:03 »
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Some of the best shooters I've seen were kids. because they haven't been told they can't do that yet. Worst thing you can say to a kid. Period.

« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 04:50 »
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Some of the best shooters I've seen were kids. because they haven't been told they can't do that yet. Worst thing you can say to a kid. Period.

Then those who were never told "no, you can't" grow up, join a micro and start threads saying "my work was a masterpiece and some moron of an inspector rejected it THESE A$$^OLES DONT NO NUTHING ABOUT FOTOGRAPHY",,,

Seriously, though, art made by three-year-olds is invariably rubbish that people feel they have to praise when it is thrust under their noses by adoring parents, to avoid them looking mean-spirited and nasty. Since I am mean-spirited and nasty, I don't mind saying it (anonymously, of course ;) )

If a three-year-old likes playing with a camera, fine let him/her get on with it. It the kid asks questions, give answers, otherwise just leave well enough alone and don't start imagining it is the work of a genius. Later on, the kid might get really good. Who knows? 

rinderart

« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 22:17 »
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A few years ago my Wife donated her time to a elementary school here in Beverly Hills. One day I brought 10 ,5 dollar disposable cameras into class and gave them out. I told them to wait until the weekend and the rule was to shoot whatever they wanted But you couldn't go more than 2 blocks from home. The next week they brought the cameras back and I had the images processed. 4 of the kids had stuff that was better, More original,Had more meaning about telling a story than stuff I've seen in years from...ANYONE. especially in this business.There was a truth in the images that was mind blowing through a childs eye. I wish I had that Part of my work back.  But no we shoot perfect isolations of strawberries Because were pros....Ya right. Shooting what turns "YOU" on is the way to be unique instead of what you THINK will sell for 30 Cents. I believe the buyers will find you that way. Someday I hope stock evolves into "The Impact" of an Image not weather it's tack sharp with zero Noise.  Enter Chase Jarvis.

Then theres the story I've told before about this little old lady I saw walking her dog, she was always taking Pictures. I stopped her and we started Talking she had a Kodak Instamatic with duct tape on it and said she has always used it. I asked her to bring all her pictures over to my house. She did , shoeboxes of stuff all processed at a drug store. She has never touched a computer But to make a long story short. Some of her work was so good, Tears were rolling down my face because of her vision and ability to communicate visually. Shes better than I ever will be after 50 years.....Honestly.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 22:24 by rinderart »

« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 08:16 »
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a 3 year old?

You can actually do damage, not likely, but there is a risk.

First, at that age it is important that kids learn to percieve and intrepretate the influx of information from the outside world. Perception comes with being allowed to look and touch the world, intrepretation comes when others talk to the child about it.

To be able to and to want to play is natures way to place an educational ability in a child. Playing = learning. Note that playing incorporates many levels of activities.
Playing in 3 years old kids is often a combination og language learning, repetition and primitive abstracts, such as grouping things into categories: such as "animals", "tools" and "people". Play is often associated with a psychical need, and emotions are often also incorporated. Fx the kid pretends to be afraid of the miniature animal.

So... What you can do with a camera and a child is to let him PLAY with it, and teach him the funktionality: press button--> image is captured--> you can see something from the past. Next is to let him mimic you, give him an obsolete camera he can play with and let him mimic you and do the same as you. He will never forget those lessons and it might be of great advantage later on.

Considering the the damage, you may do. There are a couple of risks:
At the age of 3 it is very important that children obtain a reliable and true image of what they see in the world. Seeing things distorted via a lens and placed wrong in time and space counteracts with that.

But the real risk is different. It is what professionals call the hidden curriculum. You mentioned an expensive camera. The possiple positive outcome of letting the child handle that,  is that the child may sense that you trust your most valued belonging in his hands. So you trust the kid.
BUT you dont, which is why you posted this thread.
And the kid will sense that cameras, are dangerous, bad things can happen, Uncle is very nervous and very observant of what I do.
That is the hidden curriculum, that is what the kid learn, where as you think you teach him how to press the button.

So .. my advise.. Give him the old obsolete camera to play with + take him shooting and play with him.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 08:19 by JPSDK »

lagereek

« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 08:26 »
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I am sure he could join, IS, they look for reasons to accept, rather then reject. :)

gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 01:06 »
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we bought our 3 kids (all under 10) cheapo p&s cameras last year, they have spent enough time with me on shoots to at least know the basics of holding the camera and learning to compose. That's enough for now, I wouldn't even bother trying to teach them to master an SLR in manual mode until they are teens.
 
I think what we forget about kids is that they are short, so they take images at 3' and the world looks very different from that angle. i wouldn't say that makes my kids images brilliant, it just give their images such a different look from the average pic.

ShadySue

« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 07:47 »
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we bought our 3 kids (all under 10) cheapo p&s cameras last year, they have spent enough time with me on shoots to at least know the basics of holding the camera and learning to compose. That's enough for now, I wouldn't even bother trying to teach them to master an SLR in manual mode until they are teens.
IMO, you only teach them to 'master an SLR in manual mode' when they themselves decide it's necessary for them to do so. Whether that's 7, 70 or never. Same with most other things, really, when there's a need and readiness for learning. Which would be when they want to do something that they can't really do without using manual. So they have a want and a need.

I've been surprised that the P&Ss my adults come to my beginners' class with don't have a RAW option. Yet somewhere some of them have heard of RAW and asked about it. In the same vein as above, I explained a little bit about the advantages/disadvantages of RAW - most don't want to spend time at the computer; some don't even have a computer (make prints at a supermarket booth) - then said, "If you find that you can't do what you want to do without using RAW, then absolutely, buy a new camera; but until then, jpegs will usually be just fine."

[A former colleage went to a college 'total beginners' evening class, for the same sort of clientele (want to take nicer p&s pics of their grandchildren and holidays) and the tutor spent most of the first lesson going on and on about how important it is to 'shoot using the histogram'. She cancelled and got her money back as did at least three other people. He wasn't thinking about the needs of his particular student group - he probably is used to teaching the regular 'day' classes of students with dSLRs who want to become pro 'togs of some sort.]

In education it's called the 'need to know' basis. So you teach what the curriculum requires you to teach, supplemented by the hints and tips you find invaluable and want to share. And when a student asks you about something else, you tell or show them, but always checking to see if that was what they wanted to know and that you haven't gone too far for their interest at that point.

Like the old saw about the child whose mother had taken the view that she would only deal with the birds and bees issue when it was brought up by her children. So her little boy came home from school one day and asked where he came from, so she took a deep breath and went into all the details, and her wide-eyed son said, "Ooooh that's funny - the new boy in my class comes from Liverpool".
« Last Edit: January 28, 2012, 09:32 by ShadySue »

gillian

  • *Gillian*

« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2012, 05:51 »
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we bought our 3 kids (all under 10) cheapo p&s cameras last year, they have spent enough time with me on shoots to at least know the basics of holding the camera and learning to compose. That's enough for now, I wouldn't even bother trying to teach them to master an SLR in manual mode until they are teens.
IMO, you only teach them to 'master an SLR in manual mode' when they themselves decide it's necessary for them to do so. Whether that's 7, 70 or never. Same with most other things, really, when there's a need and readiness for learning. Which would be when they want to do something that they can't really do without using manual. So they have a want and a need.

Very true.... although given it's a skill I can pass on to them, like baking, choosing a good red and avoiding housework, I will be very sure to teach my girls these skills whether they like it or not. They'll thank me later. :)


 

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