Girl Genius wants to be an architect. She’s also interested in photography, at the moment, which makes my heart sing because photography has been a passion for me since I was her age. I’ve always preferred to have a camera in my hands when I’m exploring, because it helps me see the world around me in different, more careful and beautiful, and lasting ways.

We’ve had some fun outings exploring with cameras in hand. My first instinct is usually to point my camera at her. I consider my largest physical gift to her the library of photographs in which I’ve catalogued her childhood. When not aimed at my daughter, my camera is generally pointed at other people I love, or at things I consider part of our natural environment. Ocean, cliffs, forest, horizon lines, and the small details of water, flowers, animals and trees. But GG notices architectural details, human-made forms. I’m learning to pay more attention to these things too. That’s what our trip through the Pearl District was about for me.

GG is using our 35 mm film camera with black and white film, which she’ll be developing in the school darkroom, just like I did in my own first year of high school. I’m using the super-simple (inexpensive) and shockproof digital Olympus I bought to tolerate hard adventure use on kayak trips and sandy beaches. It’s the kind of camera you can drop in the water without cringing, very good for me.

I can’t wait to see how GG’s prints from our Pearl day turn out. I love to see what we saw differently.

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