a point-and-clicker hopes to reform

Okay, I admit… I have always been interested in photography, but I am a hapless wonder with a camera. I took some astonishingly bad underwater pictures of stuff like sand, people’s feet, and an almost-out-of-frame fish on our honeymoon. When we went to Paris, I happily snapped away two rolls of film on the Vivitar SLR Ryan had given me for my 23rd birthday, only to realize when we got them back from developing that I hadn’t loaded the film correctly, and had submitted two blank rolls of film. Vive la femme stupide!

My track record with film has put a little bit of a damper on my secret longing to be a stunningly talented photographer. (How can you practice photography techniques when you’re mostly just scared that you’re not loading the film right?) So when Ryan said that he thought we should buy a $700 digital SLR, I was so happy! Why?

Because there is no film in a digital camera, no matter how complicated the rest of the bells and whistles are!

Ryan has been a REAL stunningly talented photography hobbyist for some years now (unlike me, the wannabe)… some of my favorite memories in college included hanging out with him in the publications lab darkroom, making I-have-a-crush-on-you smalltalk as he developed his pictures for the student newspaper. We’ve (and I say “we” loosely) even set up a small home darkroom in Janette’s bathroom, which she doesn’t mind too much because she’s hardly ever here! He developed some of his black-and-white photos from Paris in there, as well as some shots he took around San Antonio for a friend of ours who’s moving to New York next month.

I totally trust Ryan’s judgment when it comes to photography. It’s really cool watching him when he’s taking pictures. He is not known for his patience, but when he’s behind the lens, you’d never know it (unless he’s losing his light). He took our friends’ engagement photos, one of which made it onto their wedding invitation, and another friend’s graduation pictures.

I found a job listing on craigslist recently for a small freelance job taking digital “urban landscapes” for a travel magazine, and passed it on to him. When he asked today about possibly buying a less-expensive (read: not $3000) digital SLR, I was totally on board with using some of our wedding gift money to buy one. My only condition: he has to teach me how to use it.

I’m not giving up my silly dream of being a stunningly talented photographer yet. Why should I? It’s certainly not too late, even for someone who doesn’t know how to load a camera properly.

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3 responses to “a point-and-clicker hopes to reform

  1. I remember Dr. Kyhl’s Learning Processes course at TLU–we each had to learn something new and present it to the class at the end of the semester. I chose photography, and I learned a lot (though I would’ve learned a heck of a lot more if this project hadn’t been required). I enjoyed it a lot, but I don’t remember a lot of it. Plus, I learned about non-digital cameras. Now, I’m all about the digital. . .I can take some fairly cool pics with my digital.

    I’m with you–I share the aspiration to be a fabulous photographer. I remember Ryan being quite the photographer in college. You’re married to a great teacher! Have fun. 🙂

  2. I do remmeber Ryan being quite the photographer, so he should be a good teacher. But I’m convinced it’s all about practice…learning what works, what doesn’t, lighting, etc.

    You know, I’m using a really great photographer for the wedding. That’s one place I didn’t want to scrimp (even though it’s the one thing my parents are making ME pay for…errr!) and even he does things sometimes that I don’t think look very good. So like I said, trial and error.

    I’m a fan of the digital age. It can take care of the enormous zit I had on my face during my bridal portrait. haha

  3. I love it Trish. I too spent tons of money on the photographer for our wedding. Well, my mom did. And, I am so happy that I did.

    Commenting on Sarah’s actual blog though…you do have an amazing teacher in Ryan. Just looking at the pictures he took in your living room of your apartment, inspired me to take more pictures.

    I am like you, Sarah…I have always loved taking pictures. I think I get it from my mom and my God-father who both take tons of pictures and always have. I am actually ok at doing it. I know how to frame the pictures and what kind of pictures will look good. My problem is that I have a cheap digital camera that doesn’t work very well. So, lots of my pictures end up being too dark (because my flash sucks) or grainy (because I only have digital zoom). So, I’m with Trish and Lauren keep practicing. And, make Ryan teach you because he’s got a great eye for good pictures!

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