So you know how much I like it when good things happen to me which required absolutely no effort on my part? Well this week I was offered a totally free digital SLR camera. It is a hand-me-down and not bleeding-edge top-of-the-line or anything (it is a several years old Olympus E-500) but that is fine because I would have absolutely no idea what to do with a bleeding-edge top-of-the-line digital SLR camera. As it is, I will have virtually no idea what to do with this thing once I get it. I haven’t actually set an F-stop since I was a senior in high school (which, in case you are keeping track, was seven hundred years ago). However I am VERY MUCH looking forward to receiving this thing and am hoping to find a community college class to take over the summer to learn how to use it!
Between you and me, I had actually been saving up some money to buy a Rebel or something, you know, a quaint entry-level digital SLR. In the past year I have adventured to Catalina Island and New York and into The Grand Canyon and to several very interesting other places and I was often saddened by the fact that I didn’t have the ability to take any really good pictures along the way. Now, do not misunderstand me, the pictures I will be taking for the next year or so will probably look like this:
However, I am a quick learner and will probably be able to take pictures that are at least this good in pretty short order:
The truth is that I once dated a very very talented photographer and so never worried about whether or not there would be good pictures of a trip, because I knew there would be. Well I have felt a real lack over the past couple of years because I enjoy having good, stylistic, artistic photos around. And I did always like being able to point at the wall and go, “Yeah, that one is from a trip to Boston …” stuff like that.
Now I know that the proliferation of camera phones and crazy good digital point-and-shoot cameras has created a world wherein a person can have really cool pictures without having to commit much energy to it, but there is a part of me that wants to learn the art of a good picture. So many settings and dials and things to know! Part of me wants to climb up the side of a hiking trail somewhere just to get a picture of a flower and actually know how to dial in the focus. There is a delightful steampunk-ian combination of archaic mechanism and imaginative whimsy that go into the making of a good photograph, and I want to learn how to do it. For the same reason that I would like to own a very nice old typewriter.
So, anyway, this is just a warning shot I guess. Please get used to seeing a large amount of very very poor quality photos of my cats.