One of the bittersweet moments of fatherhood is when your kids start outdoing you. On the one hand, it’s a proud moment to see them reach a new level. On the other hand, it’s a clear indication of your own descent into the diminished capabilities of middle age.
I’ll never forget those moments when it became clear that each of my three boys could whip me in one-on-one basketball (despite the heavy fatherly fouling and loving paternal elbows I would throw to try to keep up).
Or the time my youngest boy Jon, then 16, just picked me up during one of our wrestling matches (I’m 230+lbs.) and gently tossed me over the couch like a rag doll. Ah yes. Those were the days. But now, with one of my sons getting into multimedia, it’s like “deja vu all over again,” to borrow a phrase from Yogi Berra!
My middle son, Brian, 25, is a producer at a video documentary house in DC. He’s pretty much a video guy and, if you don’t count the one in his iPhone, doesn’t even own a still camera. He recently enrolled in a Masters of Interactive Journalism program at American University and for one of his modules, had to produce a whole multimedia website about one subject. For his project, he chose the underground music scene in Washington, DC.
He was required to use Soundslides for the program and he had to shoot stills. So he borrowed an old 7 megapixel Canon S70 point and shoot, and a Zoom H2 recorder, hit the club scene on his skateboard, and whipped up a pretty interesting site.
What kills me is that it took him all of about three weeks to get a great handle on the program, not to mention the HTML and Flash programming and all the other stuff it took to produce the site….I’ve been working with Soundslides for two years and I’m still struggling (and Flash and HTML? Fuhgettaboudit!).
And was he obsessing about high ISO noise, sharp pictures, or any of that other bourgeois, uptight, photo geek stuff I tend to obsess over? Hell no. If underground music is de-constructed, the photography that documents it might as well be too.
So, for some arch commentary, cool interviews, funky music, and a bunch of energetic, evocative, (and yes, largely blurry!) pictures, check out Experiment DC It must be great to actually be hip and young, instead of just trying to make your work look that way.
Oh, and by the way, the next time we play one-on-one? I’m putting lead in his sneakers!