Bruce gave me a digital SLR for my birthday in March. I am sorry to say that, with the exception of one frustrating Saturday afternoon when I was stuck at Eastman for hours, it has been gathering dust on my desk ever since.
Back in the days of analog and film (ah, the smell of a freshly popped-open canister of Ektachrome!) I understood how to take a good photograph with an SLR camera. I knew about f-stops, and shutter and film speeds. I borrowed my father’s bulky Bell & Howell for photography classes as an undergraduate art student, learned it inside and out, and dragged it with me to Europe and back. I also knew how to use his ancient-to-me little Bolsey Synchromatic Model B2.
When Bruce and I were first married, and for a much lower milestone celebrating my birth, he bought me my first Pentax SLR. It was a light, straightforward little camera and it served me well for years. It was my camera of choice until we finally entered the digital age in mid-2004.
Since then nearly every digital photograph I took was with a point-and-shoot camera, a Canon PowerShot A80, which I got to know very well. Most of the time I opted to use its manual aperture or shutter speed settings rather than its full-on auto features. I even knew how to adjust its white balance. Lately, however, the Canon has had issues with batteries more than a minute old, and so I have relied more and more on the camera in my iPhone 3GS. Most of the photos you see here were taken with the phone camera, and if I am patient and careful about lighting, they aren’t half bad for a point-and-shoot camera that’s really a phone. Unfortunately I am often impatient and careless about lighting. The photo above is with the iPhone. See? I can be patient and careful. It helps when I use that DIY light box I put together a few years ago, doesn’t it?
But this new camera. I thought the transition would be fairly easy, but I do not understand what the numbers on the lens ring mean. And I have had exactly no time since receiving it in late March to spend reading the two manuals (one for the lens and one for the camera — the former is in German which is a whole other problem) and beginning to work on learning how to use it. The task of re-educating myself has felt like A Very Big Project that might take Hours And Hours, and I have not had the heart to face it and begin. And of the handful of photos I have taken with it? Most are crap and the rest are nothing to crow about.
Also, whenever I see the word Pentax I hear Michael Franks. And that’s distracting…
You could have been Miss Pennsylvania with all this pulchritude.
How come you always load your Pentax when I’m in the nude?
Speaking of analog. I owned Franks’ The Art of Tea on vinyl. Sigh. Sometimes college feels like a minute ago.
We’ve got to see-saw until we unthaw those popsicle toes.
I will bend my intentions toward getting to know this camera inside and out. It is a puzzle, and I will solve it! You know, when I have a string of empty minutes long enough to immerse myself in it. Maybe next week?