Friday, July 25, 2008

The Last of its Kind

The Last of its Kind
Originally uploaded by Kate Sowa
Kodak is getting out of the film business. This isn't breaking news, but as I came across my mother's film camera yesterday, I thought about how much has changed in the world of capturing images. The Canon camera that my mother uses looks like the first cell phones: big, clunky, and without a lot of perks and instant gratification that we demand now. The camera that I use is also a Canon, but a digital one. It actually belonged to my parents. M used his expertise to pick out a well made workhorse type camera that could fit in your pocket and take a little video, if you wanted it to. After a few weeks and several attempts to help them become more comfortable with the process of digital photography, I became the new owner. It's a good little camera, though, and has served us well over the past few years.

I am not a visual person. I wish I was. I wish I could see things the way that M sees them. I wish I could look at something and see the textures and the light instead of just a whole object. I try to memorize the little tidbits he mentions to me about reflection and flashes, but I think that part of it is just instinctual. He has a sense of how to make something become a beautiful photo. I have to work at it. I don't expect to become a professional. After all, he has the benefit of a degree from one of the best photo schools in the country and years of experience as a professional. But I don't want to be put in the same category as that guy who always gets his finger in the picture.

Looking at my camera made me realize how behind the times I am. The only photo processing software we have on our computer is Photoshop. I have no idea how to use it. NO IDEA. I see M clicking buttons, brightening teeth, erasing wrinkles and performing all kinds of magic tricks. I can't even prepare a photo for an e-mail. I am completely dependant on him for my photos. This is all going to change. I have set a goal for myself: become a better photographer and take more pictures. I love looking at photos from my childhood and I want that for Luke. I want some of those photos to be from my perspective, even if it is a little blurry or slightly out of focus.

M brought home a new work camera the other night. It's a common occurrence since each new model requires some time to learn how to use it and doing that during a photo shoot is not a good idea. It's the very latest and has a very cool low light feature. I picked it up and took a few test shots.

"You know, that's $5000", said M as he walked into the living room. I slowly put the camera down. I'll stick with my little Canon......for now.


Cassandra said...

Here from ICLW...

I think it's good for everyone in a family to be able to take decent photos, so that on vacation you could take a picture of your husband instead of him always being the photographer and never being in the photos. I am definitely the photographer (and more generally artistic one) of my husband and me, and with years of coaching, his vacation pictures of me are getting better and better. Straighter, better focus, better composition, fewer photos with the landmark (or my head!) partly chopped off.

But I think only one person in a family needs to be proficient with Photoshop. You can just delegate all of the post-processing to your husband, and save your time for other things. Unless it's about mastering the skill for the sake of mastery, in which case I say go for it.

Luke is sooo adorable!

Fertilized said...

I also have a love for all things photo related. Get to know photoshop - its so amazing. Good luck to you and you are really lucky to have a professional in your house- I never get to be in pictures much because I am the one that knows how ot "work" the camera

Martha said...

Visiting from ILCW, thanks for sharing, kind of scary how fast things change. Best to you and yours.

The Broken Man said...

I waited along time before i went digital, I loved my film cameras, and spending hours in the dark room. As to Photoshop - even those of us who have been using it for six or seven years still dont understand it! You are not alone!

nh said...

I can't use photoshop. I have a digital camera - it takes a photo, if I like it I get it printed, if I don't I delete it. Can't be bothered with doing anything else...