Looking Closely at the World Around Us

In March of 2005, I got a macro lens for my digital camera and was introduced to the wonderful world of macro photography. Since then, I’ve used flowers, toys, insects (both alive and dead – hey, at least the dead ones don’t move!) and many other items as macro photography subjects. I even made a poster using a macro photograph I had taken of a flower. When I took the photo, I liked it, but upon examining it on my monitor, I spied a pollen covered ant crawling through the surface that I hadn’t seen when I looked at the flower itself.

What does this have to do with fatherhood? Well, I’ve longed to share my love of photography with NHL. As he approached his fourth birthday, we learned of a then-new product called the Fisher Price Kid Tough Digital Camera. My parents got one for his birthday and he went to work taking photos like crazy.

On Sunday, NHL, JSL and I were outside playing when I decided to turn outside-play-time into a lesson of sorts. We looked at a tree that he has passed a hundred times. On the tree were some round buds. Pulling one off, I showed him how it was a seed and told him how an animal (but *NOT* a kid!) would break these off to eat and how the seed inside would eventually get deposited (one way or another) on the ground. I told him that this seed would grow into another tree. He decided to take one of the buds I had plucked and plant it.

Next, I showed them a flower and took a macro photograph of it. Bringing the photo up on the camera’s LCD display, I zoomed in.  Here’s the photo (unzoomed). Do you see anything besides the yellow flower?

Zooming in, we can not only see the flower’s structure better, but we can see an ant crawling across it.

Next up was a favorite of NHL and JSL’s. A dandelion. NHL was amazed by how he could see the details on the seed, something he would normally overlook as he blew the “puffs” away.

Finally, we got down to the pavement to watch the movement of the ants. I showed him how these tiny creatures were working together to move sand away from the opening of their hole. He suggested we stomp on the hole, but I asked him how he would feel if a giant came along and stomped on his house.

Overall, NHL realized that there are interesting things all around us, if one takes the time to look. In our busy lives, we’ll often pass these things without giving them a thought. Pointing them out to kids can teach them to be inquisitive about the world around them.

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My name is TechyDad. Alright, my name isn’t really TechyDad, but I’d prefer to keep my true identity hidden. Kind of like Clark Kent except I’m not an intrepid news reporter for the daily planet, but a web developer for a health care organization. Oh and I’m also not an alien that can fly and shoot lasers out of my eyes. I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world, B and have two wonderful children NHL and JSL. You might know B as the blogger behind TheAngelForever.com. She had been blogging for quite awhile when I decided to give it a go. I’m a self-described nerd who is interested in all things technology, even if monetary realities don’t allow me to buy all the newest cool toys. I’m also a kid at heart. I will happily get down and dirty playing with my kids or sit on the couch with them watching cartoons. One of the perks of fatherhood: you get to play with toys and watch cartoons and pretend it’s for them! I also am an amateur photographer and can easily fill up a memory card or two if given the chance. I like writing about an eclectic mix of topics. One post may be about programming. The next might be about a boy’s day out with my kids. The one after that might be about copyright law and the one following that might be about a new gadget I’d love to get. My blog is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.

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