Dad Asked My Canon 40D on a Date

20 Nov

My father invited me to the Huntington Library this past weekend because my Canon 40D had arrived and us photographers make up excuses like, “Oh? New equipment? That’s reason enough to pay entry into a library and garden! Let the frolicking begin!”

For as long as I can remember, my dad spent his days off from work driving around with his camera equipment. I despised these jaunts in the neighborhood; as an only child, I was the only child in the vehicle and it was a requirement that I go with him. So I sat there with the idea that we were aimlessly driving around so that my father could suddenly stop to photograph a green dumpster with graffiti “art” up against a brick wall. Really. I can show you many instances of that very photo.

Or how about that flat soda can on the road?
Or no, no! The orange safety cone? The persimmons in a purple crate?

My experience on these outings was just a fun-for-all. There’s probably a photo of me looking listlessly out the car window, dreading the fact that we’re back in the same spot as our last jaunt because my dad thought the lighting would be better at this hour of the day. What the hell, Dad, I have Sailor Moon to watch.

Usually, he would set up his equipment, which took a hundred hours by the count of an 8-year-old’s watch, and then have me get out of the car to look through the viewfinder.

“Come here and take a look.”
“Ehhhh.”
“Do you like it?”
“I dunno. I guess.”
“Do you see the shadows? The color?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”

That was the extent of my highly knowledgeable critiques. As I got older, I’d say more things such as, “I like how the shadows cross over that way,” or “This isn’t really my style.” My dad always took me very seriously and would ask why I did or didn’t like something. I eventually became blunt and said I didn’t like a photo. I didn’t like the subject. I didn’t like much of his photography. I’m sure it wasn’t a pleasant thing to hear, especially from your own daughter, but I felt that honesty was better than any criticism he was receiving, particularly from my mother. She was more prone to making faces and asking, “what is that suppose to be?”

He has since moved to digital with a Canon 20D and has expanded his subjects to include flowers, bugs, and tourists’ butts. (That’s not a joke.) Do not even get me started on his experience with Photoshop because my brain will probably explode all over my keyboard and I don’t want to clean it up at this hour.

He still asks for my opinion, and I do like some of his work now, but mostly, I have come to realize he is the person that made me the photographer I am today. He developed my eye at a very young age to notice design and composition, colors and shapes, shadows and light; I like to think that my photography doesn’t suck because of my dad.

And after all those obnoxiously boring outings as father and daughter, here are a few of my favorite shots from our first outing as photographers.

You can see the larger versions of these photos at my Flickr page, and soon enough, I will have a photography site launched so that you can hire me for your events. I’m sure my dad will want to assist me, but I don’t think you want shots of butts in your albums, do you?

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One Response to “Dad Asked My Canon 40D on a Date”

  1. Marilyn November 21, 2008 at 5:17 am #

    I can’t wait to see your new website!

    The composition and lightning of all three photos are amazing…

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