Friday, 16 December 2011
Smile - you're on Candid Camera!
It has always amazed me how children have an innate sixth sense which they use to the sole purpose of detecting the presence of a camera. It does not matter what type of camera is in question. It can be a small, almost invisible point and shoot film camera, a sophisticated SLR top of the range with super long telephoto lens, a video camera filming from a distance of 100m with a digital optical zoom, or my personal favourite, my small credit-card sized video camera that I don't even know I am holding; it does not matter one whit - the second that the record button is pressed, the sixth sense kicks in. Some examples:
Children rolling over and cooing for the first time - Sam and Paddy did this almost simultaneously, and were rolling backwards and forwards on the towel after their bath one night, cooing and giggling at each other. Enter video camera. Result: four and a half minutes of footage of two babies lying almost immobile on a brightly patterned towel, so quiet that you think the sound is off.
First words: Sam says "crocodile" clearly at the age of thirteen months and we rush to preserve the moment for posterity. Press record on the super small camera proudly purchased for just such moments as these. Result: "Bo ba da da da", said with a slightly imbecilic expression. And then a loud burp.
Little Miss Snoopy gets her doll, a nappy and some cream and changes Dollie's nappy on the carpet in the lounge, remembering to use wet wipes and put cream in the right areas. I quietly film the scene from behind the corner, holding the camera out at an odd angle and coughing to mask the sound of the record button. Result: two minutes of Little Miss Snoopy sitting on Dollie's head and bouncing up and down, with the nappy on her own head.
Likewise, the two boys climb up onto an antique tractor and pretend to be driving it, making comments like "look, we're driving a rescue combine harvester".
Ditto when it snows in our city for the first time in 50 years.
Also when the boys spend hours talking to the donkey and pretending it is talking back to them.
But then, for some inexplicable reason, something just snaps (or perhaps their radars are off for a while) and you manage the perfect shot...and suddenly it is all worthwhile.