Erika & the Pentax K-01

So the Pentax K-01 is not for me—a relative statement because I can still have fun with it.  Taking photos of my family for one.  After all, I do have my own collection of “fun” photos which may—at the end of the day—not mean anything to anyone else but only to me and my immediate family.  “Snapshots” so to speak: they will never be published, win awards or the praise of photography connoisseurs.   Nevertheless they form the memories that ultimately matters.  That is the essence of photography.

Given my perceived limitation of the Pentax K-01 and what I think it is good for, I then handed it to my daughter, Erika.   Erika is autistic.  Her impairment has to do with her communication skills leaving her unable to verbally communicate.  Our communication is limited to “two-steps command” (go kitchen, get water).  She can point and she can recognize symbols (not letters or words making her technically illiterate).

Now she has taken photos with camera phones before and has produced interesting compositions.  I have tried to move her to an SLR but can never get her to look into a viewfinder.  A resistance known in the learning disability community as “tactile defensive” (there is something that annoys them physically making them resistant to certain stimuli; i.e., being touched, or, in Erika’s case having something press against her eyes).

So on more than one occasion, I gave her the K-01 while walking through a mall: set at PROGRAM mode (numbers does not mean anything to Erika) and ISO3200 to give her a lot of latitude.  Initially, as with any “toy” that I hand her, she would “experience” it (hear the sound, feel the “click”, see the image play out and produced in the LCD, and so on).  She begins “shooting” without even “pointing” just to take in the “experience”.

Pointless shooting...(the tactile experience)
Hey! The horizon's level!

As soon as she gets over that “experience” part, she then gets to focus on something—usually “us” (me and her brother).  While essentially “snapshots”, she begins to show in her composition a sense of balance to make for interesting photographs.  I never taught her—indeed, cannot teach her—the rule of thirds.

Above are the snapshots; below are the interesting photos...

Then she gets bored with “us”—she begins to see things and now begins to shine.

 Blue Sky
PENTAX K-01 + SMCP DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR

PENTAX K-01 + SMCP DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AL WR
(I converted this to black and white)


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