These are the very first shots the night Rory came home from the hospital after her birth.
Quick! Get a shot of her brother meeting his sister for the very first time. I was not quite prepared. The light was poor. As you can readily see there is a lot of grain(noise) in these photos. I had not planned for dim lighting and did not want (simply forgot) to use flash.
Hey! A shot is a shot. I have to live with that. It’s all we got. No one else was holding an iPhone nearby. I wish….
Dawn. Great light. Maybe!? The right moment? Can my camera capture the moment as I see it? All good observations and questions.
Ok! The camera has trouble focusing upon clouds. No contrasting lines help to define a focus point. Set the focus point on the trees or something at the horizon. Exposure. The scene is dark and the meter tends toward overexposure. Metter the sky to increase the saturation of the morning color. Finally, cheat. Use Lightroom to increase vibrance and saturation. It might just look like what you saw at the critical moment.
Washington Dulles airport. It’s around 1AM in the morning. We are landing. It’s a night shot. It would be near impossible to take this image with film. Digital is a challenge. And I daresay most folks don’t bother or try.
Challenge. It’s dark. You need to fool the camera meter. And it has to focus upon something. Yes, there is some skill. Not much. But some. I would like a sharply focused image. I settle. And composition would be more interesting if I could zoom in on something interesting. And then the shutter speed would be too slow and everything would be blurred. Take what you can get. Not too bad. Not too good.
Oh boy! Terrible. What I know now…. And digital lets you shoot and shoot… Do over, please! Gee, but I was terrible. Good camera does not a photographer make. Not much else one can say about a bad pic. Mistakes everywhere you look. Potential. And at least there is something. My childhood had precious few shots – almost none. I could do much better now. Really!?
Lighting, composition, focus, pose… you name it. Focus? I had 20/20 vision. Lens? Camera? Photographer? A poor workman blames his tools. If I do it all over again…
Whoa! I did a double take. That’s my kid?! None too handsome! I am embarrassed and ashamed – at myself. What a bad picture! Is it the kid or the photographer? It better be me! Gee! Fat faced and funny looking, could I have done better? I did. And he (no names please) got much better looking. Wow! That was startling to come across. I am still shaken.
Slide film. Poor lighting. Poor composition. I prided myself on knowing how to take a picture. Obviously, I thought too much of my skill. Go home. Try another day. Sorry, this was a bad day.
Colleen asked me for snow picture. Easy. Right? Not! It’s a big catalog with a lot of pictures and most are not snow. There is the database. Snow should be easy? I just flipped randomly till I found an image with snow.
Snow is hard to shoot. It is bright white and tends to be underexposed by the camera’s automatic metering. Otherwise in bright sunlight the snow tends to be washed out – ie no detail. Anyway, snow! No other context – location or time.
I know the occasion. It was a birthday celebration for me cooked up by Jules and Lisa. They took me on the dinner cruise around Manhattan. It was a chill April evening. The light was fading quickly at dusk. Jules was seasick. Ha! It was a slow-moving cruise ship. Oh well.
Noise? I don’t have metadata on the images. I assume it was the Nikon D70 but I could be wrong. Low light, you get noise in the picture. Noise? It is the graininess and lack of definition in the image. Jules and I look strange as a result of the low light and noise. The skyline of Manhattan hides noise quite well. There is little detail expected and the far away subject easily hides the lack of detail. Graininess is not an issue.
Sometimes you accept imperfection in the face of the memory the image invokes. It was my birthday cruise with my favorite daughter.
Eensy weensy. I grew up singing eensy weensy. The convention is that it is itsy bitsy spider. I disagree.
Mission failure. I did not get a good shot of the spider who made a web on my desktop. Really! Literally! Colleen got me a SAD light – seasonal disorder. It’s bright!
I spied the spider on the inside of my window. Different! The light was too bright. The spider was overexposed. No detail. I did not check the image and exposure. I simply ditched the spider. Bad! I should have saved him. But. I hate bugs. Gone! Outside is fine. Inside, you are toast.
Later afternoon light comes earlier as daylight savings time fades. Suddenly it gets dark soon after 5PM. I hate it. Out with the cats on the deck for an afternoon stroll… there were a few last images in the fast receding summer garden. The light is now a rosy glow as contrasted to harsh midday sun. Great!
Focus – I coulda done better. it’s soft. There are details. Sure, something is always gonna be in focus. Composition – ok, Subject – what’s my point? I am drawn to the stamens more than the petals. But the real point was the late afternoon light giving that glow only seen around sunset. I have SAD. The light at this time of day makes me wistful.
(Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.)
What to say? There are a thousand ways. But some pictures look better when the subject is off center. The background should not compete. Muted is good. it all comes together. Colleen smiles and it makes me smile. Infectious? Contagious?
As to selfies, you can see my left handedness in play. Camera in the right hand. I peek at the background – too bright, too dark, too distracting. Freeman stage, the setting sun, the living room. Everything is set up for failure. But “the selfie” is the object. Imperfectly it worked.