Ponder this:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My world and why I cannot show it to you

One of my fiercest and most abiding faults is impatience.
I am not slow and steady in my approach to learning. Anything.

I am frustrated with my new camera.
Rather, I am frustrated with myself: The camera is smarter than I am.
Husband says the camera store staff gives classes. At first I dismissed the idea, thinking that I would feel out the whole process by trial and error. I now discern that with the number of options on that little dial and the up-and-down and left-and-right adjustments and my capacity for endless error, not to mention not being able to keep track of what mode on the little dial I have tried and what I did with it, that I need Help.

It would be a shame not to learn how to use this camera in all its facets. I'm missing out on a lot by not knowing what it all means. Reading the manual is an exercise in confusion: it assumes a level of knowledge that I don't have. I am fortunate to have a photography expert acquaintance. He has a talent for communicating what he knows but even he, with his rare ability to dumb down his knowledge into words that I can understand, increases the size of the photography universe about which I am learning how little I know. If ignorance is bliss, learning how little I know is the opposite.

This is what I want to do:
I want to take pictures at night . . . of the moon . . . of my night patio with the solar lights glowing through the leaves of my plants, hinting at fairies cavorting among the foliage.


I want to take pictures that show the satin velvet of the petals of flowers.
I want to take pictures of birds without losing them when they take wing out of the tiny area I've zoomed in on.


I see beautiful things all day long. Colors, animals with bright eyes and ticked fur. Dragonflies with wide black and silver bars on their blown-glass wings. A particular shade of golden green that is a beam of sunlight glowing through leaves. The neon colors of tiny insects glowing emerald green and metallic steel blue. I want to get those things!

I want what I want and I want it now.
I want to be Ansel Adams. This afternoon.
But my photography mentor told me Adams was never satisfied with photos until he'd done all kinds of things to them in the lab. It seems illegitimate to me to fix things up with lab techniques, or with "autocorrect" on the computer.

At tantrum times like this I fall back on my easiest road to creativity: to see and see and see; and reproduce my vision in language. I don't mind writing the thousand words needed to replace a picture. But a written piece is my own impression.
A picture is like music, a different story to each viewer. A photograph can go straight to the heart.

4 comments:

Carolynn said...

I could have written this post! I share your impatient nature and your desire to be an instant expert, and your aversion to photoshopping the heck out of every picture that crosses my path. It feels like cheating to me. Good luck on your journey...let us know how it goes.

Susan said...

I just got a new camera, a real doozy, so I know the feeling. Sorry, but some things really do take time, and this is one of them. Find a class if you can, or try to really listen to your friend. Good Luck! Susan

Holly said...

what kind of camera?

I know the feeling well...when I bought my Canon it sat around for 2 months while I worked up my courage to use it. That was when my good friend, Robin, issued the Photo A Day Challenge and me being me, had to accept. I learned to use my camera and not be afraid of it anymore.

Kilauea Poetry said...

"hinting at fairies cavorting among the foliage"
I like this..
Don't worry..hang in there. It's taken me time with my first digital. There are things I haven't mastered but I'll probably stumble on something new (I have)
"I want to take pictures that show the satin velvet of the petals of flowers"...you will! & have a great weekend-