Saturday, November 23, 2013


Dean is taking a photo class at school, and loving it. Black and white, actual film -- learning how to process film and print his own photos. Loving it. I'm trying to let only the right dollop of my joy level show; yes, I want him to love it and have been trying for the past, oh, 11 years or so to put a camera in his hands, but I don't want to overwhelm him. I know I can be overwhelming when I mean well, so I'm trying to be an encouraging voice on the sidelines in a way that makes being there appreciated.

The rolls of film I ordered for him haven't arrived yet (I'll let you know if it turns out a certain online source was bogus or not). The 200 sheets of paper on which to print have arrived; I told him that being able to be free to do what it takes to get the print you want is important and it was a luxury neither Ken nor I really had during our own photo class days.  He is working with a camera provided by school -- I haven't been able to convince him to try one of my cameras yet, but I did manage to get him to let me change the lens for him on our expedition today.

His weekend assignment was to shoot landscape, so I asked if he wanted to check out the beach. We're about an hour from the ocean but we rarely ever go -- traffic in the summer is ridiculous, and there isn't generally the enthusiasm for the leaving-before-dawn-to-get-a-parking-spot aspect of the journey. Today was sunny and cold-ish (45f) and windy and it felt fantastic to breathe in that salty air and walk -- although we should have brought hats and gloves and all. Next time. I'd planned to take us to a more wild/secluded-ish kind of beach, but a massive roadworks project meant we couldn't get there so we just stumbled upon a spot in Lynn with parking and a long, wide beach just waiting for us. (Boston area beach access tells a fascinating story of major wealth vs. old-time working class, as well as of the prominence of commercial verses recreational use of the ocean; as you can imagine, the story twines around accessibility to the water -- a concept which, as a Chicagoan raised on something like 25 miles of publicly accessible, beautiful lakefront, is foreign to me.)

 Trying not to get ahead of what our shared story might be. Eager to see his work, when he's ready to share, and to be able to talk about photography. He loves it, meanwhile -- did I mention?