The weather is changing. The rain is ending and tomorrow will be a bright day, but colder. You can see bits of blue sky showing through the clouds. About half the snow has washed away, but there is so much more remaining. Still testing the Canon Powershot S100 and very much liking my results. Finally, […]
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- Olympus Readies to Reign Over Digital Photography: RIP DSLR (icemanbaldy.com)
- Is This the Sharpest Lens on the Planet? (theopticalviewfinder.wordpress.com)
I’m never in any of the pictures because I’m always the one holding the camera.
There were other cameras in the party. Both Kaity and Steph had cameras, Kaity her Canon point and shoot (like mine, but with an even better super-zoom on it) and Steph had her Canon T3-1. But they only took pictures of themselves.
I did not realize until this excursion how completely self-absorbed teenage girls are. They don’t even take pictures of each other: their goals seem to be to perfect the ability to take a perfect self-portrait that can be posted on Facebook. I think Steph may have taken a couple of pictures of her feet, too.
Even I took a picture or two of her feet. Cool shoes. If I could still wear heels, I would probably wear these … but these days, if it isn’t soft and comfortable, it doesn’t get anywhere near my tender tootsies. I remember back when I was not much older than Kaity that I wore high heels … very high heels … all the time. When my mother asked me how I could walk in them, I was actually puzzled. They really didn’t bother me. I was fine. I’m glad I wore them while I could, because the days of high heels ended rather abruptly before I was out of my 20s.
Feet. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
I sometimes forget how entirely different it is taking pictures of people out on an excursion as opposed to at a party or organized event. If you want candid shots, you can’t give instructions, tell them to move together. And there are all the other people roaming around, their heads and other body parts showing up at the strange angles.
Sometimes, there’s really not much to shoot.
Here’s the story. There I am at a party. I’ve brought my camera, because hey, why not? I’ve been taking pictures of people doing what people do at parties. Talking. Eating. Sometimes laughing. A few loners. People talking in pairs, in groups. And I’m trying to find a new way to do something at which I’m not particularly good while finding a way of making pictures that are inherently dull, not so dull.
The host, a retired photographer and videographer, hates parties and was hiding. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t appear until his wife rousted him from wherever he was holed up.
This is a group dominated by professional media people, some retired, many still working. So there were a lot of cameras, mostly Canon, a few Nikon. I’m the only one with one of those funny little cameras, having brought my Olympus PEN E-P3 a spare battery and left the rest of the gear home.
In this crowd, pictures are not taken on telephones or tablet computers. It’s not that kind of crowd. This is not a group in which anyone suffers from techno-envy. We all have equipment. Lots of it, our own and stuff that belongs to the television stations for which most of the guests work. Oddly, no one was doing video. Too much like work.
I didn’t actually know more than a handful of the people at the party except in the most general way. I know the host, the hostess, a few other people here and there. Pretty much everyone there are former colleagues of my husband or related to the birthday boy.
One way or the other, I’m not sure I could get most of the names straight. Even if everyone was wearing a name tag — they weren’t — it wouldn’t help much. The problem is partly because I don’t know most of the guests. It’s also that I have always been terrible with names and faces. I’m nominally better with faces, but hopeless with names.
You can tell me your name and within a breath, I’ll say, “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” and if it happens more than twice, I’ll be too embarrassed to ask again, so I’ll smile and nod. Life can be a bitch. Parties are worse.
So it’s me and my camera. It’s an event and besides, what else am I going to do?
This is not a really exciting experience for me. About an hour into the event, my boredom exceeded my tolerance, so I set myself a challenge. Find something to shoot in a lovely, but architecturally ordinary, suburban house.
In the end, the choice was simple: play “Word Mole” on my telephone or find something to shoot. I went with photography, although I’m a world-class “Word Mole” player.
Here are the results. “Seek and thou shalt find” should be the motto of all photographers. I looked. I didn’t just look around, I also looked up and down. I looked in corners, I peered through banisters. I tried natural light and flash, wound up using both.
Motto of the story? There’s always a picture somewhere. Somehow. You have to look for it, sometimes very hard, but it’s there.
NOTE: I re-edited all these using Photoshop rather than Corel and the difference is enormous. It’s a bit frustrating that the only really great photo-editing application is so wildly expensive, but nothing else works like Photoshop. There is a reason why its name has become synonymous with photo-editing. It’s still the best. I just wish it didn’t cost quite so much!
- The Olympus E-P4, what I’m hoping for (atmtxphoto.com)
- What Camera Should I Buy? UPDATED VERSION – July 2012 (photofocus.com)
- Canon wades into mirrorless ‘mini-DSLR’ market with EOS M (blogs.todayonline.com)
- Fashion Week Portraits, The Salon at the Domain (atmtxphoto.com)
- Gear That Clicks (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Maybe I’ll get a Nikon (atmtxphoto.com)