Keeping it simple

One of my favourite aspects about teaching is seeing how people take ideas and information, then find ways to express their vision in their own unique way. I’ve been privileged to meet so many talented people while teaching for the Publishing and Photo-Imaging programs at Langara College.

As creative types, we need to keep nurturing our naturally inquisitive nature that seems to often become diminished as we get older. While teaching technology, I frequently run into people that are worried they will do something wrong or somehow break their software. Unlike software from 15 or 20 years ago, it’s difficult to render your photo editor useless or permanently change your pixels. Experiment. It’s essential.

So where is this post going? If you’re still with me, have you considered giving your camera to your child? No, not your $1000+ DSLR with your brand new super deluxe zoom lens that is worth more than your monthly mortgage payment. Besides worrying about it hitting the pavement, there are far too many buttons, knobs, screens, dials and whatnot. Roadblocks to creativity?

Instead, pull out that old point ‘n shoot digital camera that has been abandoned in the upgrade bin of your closet. Better yet, let your child use your smartphone next time you’re at the park, beach or the fair. The range of apps available will satisfy just about everyone’s tastes.

While visiting the PNE this year, my eight year old daughter asked for my iPhone and started photographing the ride called Atmosfear. I noticed the cool clouds drifting by and suggested we take more photos from a different angle.

Without prompting, she fired up Photo Forge 2 and confidently stated that she didn’t need any help. Apparently not.

Conversion to black and white, addition of a frame and a texture. Photo finished.

Keep it simple. We can all benefit from that approach.

Original image

Original image

Edited in Photo Forge 2

Edited in Photo Forge 2