Simon Wiffen

Chasing the winter light

Happy new year to you! I hope you had a fantastic break over Christmas.

Like a lot of people we love to get out for a walk to blow away the cobwebs during the weird limbo period between Christmas and New Year.

We’re really fortunate to live where we do as we have plenty of green spaces to explore. One of our favourites is Newmillerdam, a fantastic country park just down the road with a large central lake surrounded by a 1.5 mile path as well as open woodlands.

The light on this particular day was absolutely beautiful. It came and went in patches and was dappled by the tree canopies giving a wonderful quality to the light as it fell.

We bought Ellis his first ‘proper’ camera for Christmas. When I say ‘proper’ I don’t mean we’re packing him off with a DSLR, rather one that actually takes real photos. Up to now he’s had a little toy wooden camera which he absolutely adores and takes great pleasure in showing you the pictures he’s taken with it by pointing the blank camera back to you enthusiastically while waiting for you to comment on his wonderful work. We felt it was time for him to actually have a picture to show.

I can’t wait to pack him off with my old EOS 7D and start teaching him the joys of the exposure triangle but for now this little digital compact camera is perfect for him and despite his little hands he’s taken to the controls really well. We just have two minor issues…

E trying out his new camera but covering the lens with his fingers

Firstly he sees me taking photos ALL the time so his natural tendency is to lift the camera to his eye like his daddy. Like most digital compacts nowadays there’s no viewfinder, just a large screen on the back but he still insists on lifting the camera to his eye, meaning he has no view at all of what he’s taking. While blind shooting is an exciting seat of your pants approach to photography he has a little way to go before he’s crafting compositions.

Secondly, as you can see from the photo above, the position of the lens on this camera is such that it’s pretty easy to cover it with your fingers so we have a growing collection of photos of his fingers.

E checking his images on his new camera

That said, his hit rate is improving and most importantly he LOVES to shoot and he’s taking great joy in looking at the photos he’s taken.

I don’t remember how old I was when I started taking photos. I’d guess about 7 or 8? The trick now of course is to allow him the freedom to enjoy capturing images without going all competitive dad and trying to push my love of photography onto him. He doesn’t need to understand white balance. He doesn’t need to understand when it’s acceptable to push your iso, or when you need to stabilise the camera or introduce artificial light. He doesn’t need to understand which metering mode is most appropriate or take control of his focus point to make sure his subject is as sharp as it can be. He loves to carry his camera and capture images. It’s actual magic and if that little seed leads to a passion further down the line, well… that’s just fine with me.

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About me

About me

I'm Simon Wiffen, a photographer, web developer, husband, dog owner, record collector and dad of three.

For image usage enquiries or to discuss a photography brief please give me a call or drop me an email and I’d be happy to talk through some ideas.

Call: 07990 596293

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