Wednesday, July 22, 2015

If You Give Your Kids A Camera - A Railroad Adventure To Barstow, California

The Boy With The Camera - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
Earlier this month my family and I took a road trip from Tehachapi to Barstow. I decided it would be fun to give my seven-year-old daughter and five-year-old son a camera and let them capture the trip. I wanted to see things from their perspective.

I gave my daughter, Joy, my cell phone, a Nokia Lumia 1020, to use for a camera. Joy is no stranger to photography--she's been off-and-on capturing photographs for over three years. In fact, she even did a photography project for school a year-and-a-half ago. I knew that she'd be fine using the phone as a camera.

I gave my son, Jonathan, a Nikon S8100 point-and-shoot that's been sitting in a drawer mostly unused for a while now. It's not a bad camera as far as pocket point-and-shoots go, but since cell phones are much more convenient and practically as good (and sometimes better), it has been collecting dust instead of capturing images. I put it in auto mode and gave him a quick tutorial.
Joy Picture - Stallion Springs, California
Created by Jonathan.
The first stop on our journey was the well-known Tehachapi Loop. The kids love going to this place and watching trains go around the loop. Sometimes you see trains pretty quickly and sometimes you have to wait hours before one passes through. We were lucky because a train arrived just after we did.

Next we traversed California Highway 58 towards Barstow. We stopped just east of Tehachapi to see another train wiz by. We stopped in Kramer's Junction to use the restroom and buy snacks. Then we made it to our destination: the old Harvey House in Barstow.

The Harvey House, also called Casa del Desierto, is an interesting place. It opened in 1911 after a fire destroyed the earlier train station. The architecture is both spanish renaissance and classical revival. In the desert town of Barstow it really stands out as unusual. It sits on the east side of a large railroad yard so it's a great place to watch trains. There are also some locomotives and train cars on static display.
Jon - Stallion Springs, California
Created by Jonathan.
At this stop Jonathan dropped the camera on the brick platform and it stopped working. This was a good lesson for him: you've got to be careful with your stuff, especially electronics, which break easily. After some time watching trains go by we left for lunch, then we headed home. It was a fun little day trip adventure that we all enjoyed.

At home the photographic journey continued: I let the kids post-process their own photographs. Joy edited her images completely on her own. She has used post-processing software before and she's not afraid to try the more advanced features (even if she's not quite sure what everything does). Jonathan was a whole different story. I had to walk him through the process, starting out by asking if an image should be color or black-and-white. I let him choose all of the adjustments, but I had to work with him closely because he didn't really understand how a lot of it worked. Afterwords I had them name their pictures.

All of these images were captured and edited by Joy and Jonathan. It amazes me the creativity and perspective that young children have. If you give your kids a camera they'll create some fascinating photographs! They did an awesome job!
Grill In The Rainbow - Stallion Springs, California
Created by Joy.
The Mountain Train - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
At The Loop - Tehachapi, California
Created by Jonathan.
Flower Power - Tehachapi, California
Created by Jonathan.
The Train In The Loop - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
The Grey Train - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
Train, Truck, Adventure - Tehachapi, California
Created by Jonathan.
End Train - Tehachapi, California
Created by Jonathan.
The Moving Train Cars - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
The Blue Mountain - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
Car Driver - Tehachapi, California
Created by Joy.
Truck Stop - Kramer's Junction, California
Created by Jonathan.
Hopper Train - Kramer's Junction, California
Created by Jonathan.
Train Adventure - Hinkley, California
Created by Jonathan.
Truck Race - Hinkley, California
Created by Jonathan.
Not This Way Sign - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Reflected Light - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Green Train Station - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Yellow Caboose - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Caboose Day - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Hidden Building - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Green Reflection - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Railroad Day - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Blue Barstow - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Old Town Statue - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Old Train Station - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Railroad Station - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Railroad Tracks - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Baby Fun Time - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.
Picture Time - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Cigarette Picture - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Train Town - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Barstow's Funnest Train Day - Barstow, California
Created by Jonathan.
Boy Train Watching - Barstow, California
Created by Joy.

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