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38/52 – Noise

September 23, 2012

38/52 - Noise

I somehow managed to end up with photos that spoke to both of the weekly themes.  There’s something about this one that I like better.  The photo in and of itself is noisy.

At the Doodle’s daycare, they had a rabbit who spent time over the summer in the infant room (during the school year, the rabbit is a fixture in the Kindergarten class).  Sally the rabbit is pretty awesome. She’s potty trained.  She roams freely about the infant room and all the babies pet and touch her.  When Sally has to go to the bathroom, she returns to her cage and does her business there.  The rabbit is potty trained; the babies are not.

It’s not surprising then, that one of the first animals the Doodle was familiar with was the rabbit.

We took a visit this past weekend to the Agricultural Farm.  We visited it last fall and we were excited to go again because we knew the Doodle would actually engage with the animals.  She’s just recently made the connection between the abstract and the concrete when it comes to our animal friends.

She can now link the word, the sign and sound to the animal whether its alive in front of her, as seen on a video, drawn in a book or in a picture. You can say bird, and she’ll make the sign and look around for one.  She sees a horse and she ‘neighs.’

When she saw the rabbit she ran up to pet it through the fence while calling out to it, “RA-RIT! Ra-Rit!  RA-RIT!!!!”

The other lovely photos are around the alternate theme, repeating.  We’re not entirely sure how this happened or how it happened so quickly.  I think that there is some diabolical marketing genius over there at Ses.ame Street.  The kid can’t quite yet differentiate between Mama and Mommy, nor can she correctly say her sibling’s names, but she can clearly recognize and articulate E.lmo.  I’m not kidding.

I first ranted to Otto about the commercialization of childhood when we had to use disposable diapers for the first time on our family vacation to Cuba.  We use cloth diapers and those tend to be solid colours or have prints.  The pamp.ers we bought, however, for our then 10 month old infant were decorated to the hilt with Se.same Street characters.  At the time my kid had never even heard of Se.same Street.  So why the heck did my diaper need to feature these little faces?

Fast forward a few months and we let the Doodle watch a little bit of TV.  While, not TV per say, but about 5-10 minutes of YouTube videos each week to distract her when we cut her nails.  We started off with the martians from Se.same Street and then lucked into the Pets I Love clip from the Baby Signing Time videos.

One day, Otto let her watch a Se.same Street clip with E.lmo it in.  One time.

A few times when putting her in a disposable diaper at night (cause the opinionated kid won’t wear cloth), she’d point to the squishy red blob that represented the muppet and would say E.lmo.  The first time I was caught completely off guard and that’s when I found out about the aforementioned E.lmo sighting.  I was not only impressed/horrified that she knew who the red muppet was, I couldn’t believe how easy his name was for a toddler to pronounce.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Flash forward a few months to a nice Saturday morning at home with the newspaper.

My life section was immediately confiscated by a toddler who was shouting E.lmo on repeat.

It had been a few months since she had last noted an E.lmo appearance and we were just floored.  There’s so much more I would want to say about children, E.lmo, marketing and consumerism.  But despite our best efforts to keep this kind of stuff out of her life for as long as possible, it’s too late.  The Doodle is an E.lmo convert.  Even if he only appears in the newspaper and on her diaper.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2012 4:28 pm

    looking forward to reading your next post on this! we are just now discovering how difficult avoiding this overt branding is. and i’ve been meaning to respond to you other comment about the child services system in canada v. here. thanks for sharing that and for your insight about the benefits of placing a child in the pre-adoptive home before TPR. we love reading about your family!

    • September 28, 2012 5:21 pm

      The big kids are meeting their birth mom next week for the first time since they became crown wards. It’s a pretty big step.

      Looking forward to an update!

  2. October 7, 2012 9:00 am

    omg i love your pictures.

    i can’t remember if i actually asked this before or just thought about it, but if i did i don’t remember your response.

    1. what is your advice on working to improve my photography skills?

    2. what is your advice to working on learning how to process images through photoshop?

    • October 7, 2012 9:07 pm

      Well I’m flattered and I’ll try to be of some help.

      I took a photography class last fall while on mat leave. That was somewhat helpful, in the sense that I understand the technical ins and outs of my camera, and we had projects to shoot each week to help us cultivate skills in these various domains (lighting, movement, bokeh, etc). From that – taking a bunch of pictures of places/people I wasn’t really interested in – I fell in love with natural light photography and taking portraits of my kiddos. I’m really only working on those aspects of the craft right now, and as such, I’ve learned which conditions work best for me.

      Sometimes there are things I want to take photos of, but I know I won’t get the shot I want. I still take the picture but am really dissatisfied with the image as I haven’t learned how to successfully shoot in those conditions (ie, see the photo of the Doodle below reading the newspaper….our dining room is red and I can’t figure out the white balance on my camera so the light bounces off the wall and casts a red hue on the image which I’ve photo corrected but you can’t get it all out. Lesson? Don’t shoot photos in the dining room).

      Take lots and lots of photos. Shoot whatever you want to take a photo of from all angles so you can see what works best. I’m now trying to limit the number of photos I need to take in order to get “the shot,” but initially I’d take 50-100 pictures to get one amazing moment. You can just pitch the images that suck.

      2) I’m kinda self taught with editing and have tons of room for improvement. I bought Photoshop Elements (it’s a fraction of the price of photoshop, and I didn’t/don’t need all of the function in photoshop) and love it for base edits. I then discovered photoshop actions (I started with Paint the Moon) and would run those on my photos. Again, trial and error, but I know now which actions work best on which kinds of lighting conditions. It’s always better to shoot and not have to photoshop, but what I like about photoshop actions is that you can shoot, tweak with an action, and it just makes the colour pop). The image here is actioned with Awesome Sauce from the Fresh Wonderland 2 series.

      Last tips – I bought a 50mm portrait lens and it’s been the best investment ever. I shoot on it all of the time. My next purchase will be a polarizing lens so that I can shoot in bright light without everything looking washed.

  3. October 8, 2012 11:44 am

    Thanks. I’m going to use this post as a reference!

    (I have the 50mm lens. I need to learn more about my camera. I’ve been trying, but I stalled. And I definitely need to shoot more esp with more light–available light is nice, but sunlight is hands down my fave.)

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