One Step Forward-Two Steps Backward
This recurring back and forth theme crops up occasionally, no more so than in mental health issues. I have a box filled with Kleenex issues, so I have much experience in these matters.
I snap thousands of photos, most of them set within a few football fields of where I charge my camera battery. By definition, one might question just how fresh my material could be, after noting that I don’t get out of my box that often.
The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth, because the same trees, at twelve different times of the year, one per month, change dramatically, as does the venue around them. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the reality is that beauty is all around us, and nothing magnifies it more than a radiant sunrise.
Shadows, lighting, cloud cover, distance, time of day, and amount of moisture in the air are just a few of the plethora of factors which affect the quality of a photo, and it takes time to figure out which ones work best.
I do not know how to use the dials and gadgets on my Canon SX610HS; all I can do is point and shoot. So when a good friend tells me in all sincerity that I should watermark my photos, or apply a filter, I feel as though I am an altar boy again, and hearing Father O’Leary speaking Latin.
So where do the two-steps-back come in, if I am content to point and shoot, and do not feel compelled to up my game? A logical goal of mine for a long time now, has been to make the transition from cyber-space to something more tangible-like a photograph in my hand.
I have one or two pics to choose from, but assuming I could get past that, what would prevent me from attaining this reasonable goal, that so many others have achieved?
Do you have a lot of time?
OK, succinctly put, I can’t do it. I can’t explain in simple terms why the process has been so hard because there is nothing simple about it; if it were, shrinks would be a lot less in demand.
In the “old days,” you took a roll of film in to have it developed, and you got back an envelope with glossy prints in it. The same glossy prints are available today, probably from the same local drug store, at which you used to get your film developed, only now you have to do it online.
You have to download your photos into an account you have to set up, with the company doing the work, and you have to specify exactly which of the countless available options, you would like to have done.
Got it. Just as thoroughly as I get it when I am in Friedman Brothers in Ukiah, and I need a pair of gloves. They are easy to find, and gosh, you will be happy to know that you have a choice in the matter: about forty feet of floor-to-ceiling choice.
How about tooth brushes, or even tooth paste, at any major drug store? Again, hundreds of choices, so many of them preposterously similar to all of the others, and yet, available for me to choose from. At least in this instance, any one will essentially perform the same service.
Such is not the case with available options in the world of photography. I mean, no choice would result in maiming or death, but some choices would be better than others. Says so in the manual.
OK, so fast-forward a couple of years of mulling that part over, get motivated once again with some help from Gluten-Free Mama, and voila, I have actually taken that step and have in my hands, a dozen-or so-tangible examples of my photography.
Whew, end of story. Except that it wasn’t the end of the story-only the end of chapter eight or ten. The latest chapter featured my trip to Michael’s Arts and Crafts in Eureka, to see if I could not buy a handful of frames so that I could give a few tangible photos away at Christmas to loved ones.
What could be complicated about that, he asked sarcastically, knowing it was infinitely worse than selecting a tube of toothpaste? So many different frames, that even if I could find the right size, which I did, I could still mess things up.
Additionally, I had one photo in particular, which had unusual dimensions: 11 X 22. I found 11 X 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, and I found 22 by 8, by 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14, but could not find the one I needed. What are the odds, right?.
Unfortunately, content to stick with good old 11 x 14, when I came back after all of my investigating, I grabbed the wrong size, paid for them, and it gets real complicated after this.
I wasn’t there to witness it, my personal trainer/coach handling matters as she is want to do, with me cringing out in the truck. How could I have been so inept as to have simply grabbed the wrong ones? No big deal, right? Gluten-Free Mama didn’t think so. It took a couple of trips but all ended up well.
No, I was the only one impacted and am still waiting for the damage to be undone, and that takes time. Don’t ask me what damage or how much time, because I have neither answer for you. I am sure it can be found in that box of Kleenex issues if you care to take a gander.
All I have is a dozen-plus one-photographs stuffed somewhere in the laundry room, and some frames jammed out in a shed.
And my new jigsaw puzzle is coming along just fine, thank you so much for asking.