I’ve been thinking about letting and encouraging my kids to learn and practice taking photographs for some time now. We’ve already seen my daughter’s sunset photo and my son’s perspective of a basketball hoop.
These were taken with my D90 and they didn’t do a whole lot other than ‘take the shot’. My daughter, under my direction, did a bit of tuning but that was a one-off.
When I go out and intentionally take time for photography, I often have the kids asking to go with me. They want to get involved. “Can I try?”, “Do I get a turn?”, “Can you take a picture of this over here?” These all end with me telling them that I am trying to get a specific shot and perhaps a “maybe later” is given to them.
I’ve learned after a few times that since they are not actively involved in capturing the moment, they are guaranteed to get bored and my attention is split between looking after them as they try to otherwise amuse themselves and the actual photo taking. More often than not, I scrap the attempt at getting the shot. This sometimes leaves me a bit frustrated for a few minutes until I shake my head and ‘go with the flow’ by enjoying my kids having fun.
So, I started to keep an eye out on Kijiji for a cheap used camera that they can use while with me on my little adventures. I wasn’t looking for a DSLR, just a digital point-and-shoot type with a bit of control over shutter and aperture so they can learn. Naturally, I was looking for Nikon. Not because of any dislike for other brands but rather because I am familiar with Nikon and the terminology for the menus and dial settings would be more in sync with what I already know. I can tell them to turn the dial to ‘S’ and there would be an ‘S’ on the dial.
I found an old friend, sort of, on Kijiji in the form of a Nikon D40 body. If you read my early posts you would know that this was my first DSLR and I loved it. I picked this baby up for $40: battery, charger, PC sync cable and manuals included. I tried it out with my original kit lens and it works beautifully.
The kids are now anxious to get out there with me and have fun taking pictures. I have a funny feeling they may outdo me.