Last Saturday I was at the playground with my 2 year old son. Weekends are when most Dads watch the kids and the playground is the place to go. The vibe is different on the weekend. Women at the playground will gravitate toward each other and talk about all the minutia of diapers, child birthing methods, and day care. Guys don’t give a crap. Our common ground is sports or cars or gadgets. On this day it was cameras. First guy called Fred wearing his Van Halen 08 tour shirt and Niners cap is sporting a Sony Cyber Shot with an 8x zoom lens. Looks ridiculous, but then again he also has a mullet. Guy number 2 has a Cannon 20D. He’s a lawyer, khakis, V neck sweater and fraternity ring. He explains that according to his partners, this is the best camera on the market. “It’s the BMW of cameras.”
On to guy number 3, me sporting dark glasses and a Diana F film camera. We’re all snapping away at our kids, but because I’m shooting film I can’t share my photos. The 2 guys think I’m nuts, out of the dark ages or something. “Hey Dave, your kid will be driving by the time you take that photo. LOL” Mullet guys is shooting close ups of his kid’s snotty nose, lawyer, having figured out the action icon on the camera is doing low angle action shots of his daughter on the swing. He’s actually lying in the sand, bad angle for little kids and bad if sand gets near the LCD. And me, well half of my shots will be light struck, not to mention black and white which everybody now hates. We’re just three fellas stuck in the playground until naptime, searching for common ground and not really finding it. The one thing we have in common is that we want to take cool photos of our kids, or at least better photos than our wives take. In the old days we’d all have funky film cameras or old super 8 movie cameras. We would have taken the same pictures with the same cameras, the same way, and the photos would be printed and preserved for a lifetime in albums.
I guess I don’t really fit in around here (the suburbs) because as it turns out I hate pro football and like manual film cameras. I don’t really have a problem with the other 2 guys and their cameras or the Niners for that matter. I’m sure I kind find some pretentious, arsty-fartsy dads at a playground in the city.