I recently had the pleasure of having my oldest daughter review some of my recent photographs. I found this to be an excellent learning experience, for me not her, and as I look back on it I find myself proud but at the same time humbled by the experience.
Although not my primary profession I do call myself a photographer and I think that is still correct after reviewing the definition of a photographer in wikipedia. I have been trying lately to improve my photographic skills by attending a photography course run by Stefan Chirila, a local photographer, and participating in the Portraits of 100 Strangers project on Flickr as well as some other reading and study. I believe some of my photographs are reasonably good, at least I like them, I know I am learning more about photography and I hope I am applying what I learn to take better pictures. I occasionally get feedback on some of my photos from others who like them and I thank those kind folks for doing that. I also receive constructive criticism from other members of the Portraits of 100 Strangers project and I am very thankful for those as they contribute to the learning process.
Now on to the recent session with my daughter. To set the stage you need to understand that among other things her education and training was as a commercial artist and she has worked in that field for major newspapers and other national organizations for many years. She knows photoshop inside out, attends their advanced training sessions and uses it daily. Her artistic skills also include painting, which she has studied extensively, and she inherited my mother’s painting skills which skipped a generation, as I only paint walls and the occasional car. She is also having a show at a Toronto gallery in the near future. You can check out her “nancy rose designs” portfolio here. I welcomed the occasion to show her some of my latest portrait shots which I put up on the screen in Apple’s Aperture. Now here comes the humbling part. She brings an image or two up on the screen, and within a few moments, although she does not use Aperture, with tweaking a few of the settings, the pictures that I thought looked OK, start to look a lot better. The composition improved with some better cropping, the colours improved, the brightness and intensity improved and in general they looked much better. I am humbled and guess I still have a lot to learn but I am proud that I have a talented daughter from whom I can learn.