Camera Obscura

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Something always goes terribly wrong between those loaded moments of aiming and shooting.

Subjects are barely captured before they're ruthlessly beheaded, or their limbs abruptly but painfully severed...

It's not a pretty picture.

Since creativity on the writing front seems to have forsaken me for good (Muse applications are still being accepted), I'm trying to figure out whether I have any creative bones left in my body.

And, by the way, that bone-chilling scream for help in the opening paragraph was brought on by the fact that I have finally lost the last bit of my mind, because in an ongoing fit of insanity, I went and signed up for NaNoWriMo, or, as I like to call it: YetSomethingElseToProcrastinate.

And no, the above opening paragraph isn't my attempt at writing a horror story for NaNoWriMo. Neither is it the amateurish reviews of the movies Mice sent me. In fact, I haven't even written that many words for NaNoWriMo yet, which means that I'm already thirty days and fifty thousand words behind schedule. And I've just realised that November only has thirty days. Which means that I've managed to ENTIRELY miss the deadline. (Because of course there was a time when I held fast to the procrastinator's belief that I'd be able to write the required fifty thousand words in 24 hours) So let's just pretend that I've signed up way early for next year's NaNoWriMo, shall we?

So since I don't want to end up a creativeless creature, all shriveled and wrinkly, sucked dry of all creative juices, I've decided to take up... photography.

And that opening paragraph is your clue that I turned out not to be much of a shutterbug either.

I should've known though. After all, we all know that I'm not very mentally or technologically sound.

But I thought to myself: "Surely things have changed by now. After all, the photography equipment catalogues claim that sophisticated yet user friendly advances have been made since those ancient times (circa late 1980s, early to mid 1990s) when archaic practices and humourous tools, like rolls of film and manual SLR cameras, were employed."

Yes, of course I always sound like that when I think to myself!

Seriously though. A few years ago it was perfectly acceptable NOT to be good at photography. Remember? And remember those worry free days when NOBODY knew how to to set the clock or timers on their VCR's? Not like these days when one is expected to be able to perform a gazillion tasks and to do it all with the speed and skill of a seasoned pro. It seems that the more technological the world becomes, the more difficult it becomes to function as a human being. Or is it just me? (Don't answer that!)

Anyway, as usual, I'm digressing.

I think it was more acceptable to be a lousy photographer a few years ago because of the equipment. (NOT that I'm trying to point fingers here, or anything. Alas, all I ever wanted to point was a camera; point it at something and get a decipherable picture out of the experience.)

Seriously though, remember those boxy cameras where the view-finder was in one corner at the back of the camera, and so, in order to capture your entire subject instead of just half of it, you had to make tricky calculations like estimating the desired angle by adding or subtracting a few degrees?

Consequently we have family albums filled with photographs of headless relatives.

Before attempting to conquer this old hobby of mine for the second time, I had the uncharacteristic foresight to realise that I was going to need some help. Which of course called for the purchasing of a few hundred (but who's counting when the buying is done in the sacred name of Higher Learning and Art?) new How-to books.

So here I am, drowning in jargon like depth-of-field, bit-mapped, pixels and aperture.

And I find myself rapidly losing focus...

7 Comments

Firecracker said:

me thinks that piccies fall in the same category as corpses or car wrecks or such......not much use to the living unless you're one of those who like to do the 'frigid'

how often do you look at those albums anyway....and besides some of us are much prettier in real life....
aint that true Red?
all of this sounds almost like net dating...we like the touchy feelyness of real life?

kellen said:

i have always wanted to take up photography. however, i have that terrible habit of being shaky when i take the picture, and i end up with blurred subjects.

pylorns said:

yeah I failed utterly at the deadline to write. It really fell in the wrong time of year - I just couldnt devote november to writing as I was gone half the time.

Helen said:

Yeah. I missed the NaNoMo thing too.

By about 30 days and 50,000 words.

I blame stepkids visiting, moving house, going to Mallorca, broken laptops, going to Sweden, my cats coming home, and having a few white weeks.

Not like I am blame-shifting or anything.

Let's start a support group for NaNoMo rejects, wadda you say?

martha said:

My latest camera feat was erasing 150 pictures from a vacation from the digital camera. And now the flash doesn't work. How'd I manage to break the flash too??? Good luck red.

Cherryflava said:

Yay.....now Redsaid will also have a couple of lekker pics.....can't wait. I'm sure your photography will be just as awesome as your writing....very entertaining.

Don't worry too much about all of the technical stuff...taking good pictures is all about practice. You'll soon get frustrated with your work and correct it then. It's a great hobby...can get you into trouble...but GR8 all the same.

Thanks for the nomination by the way...

pylorns said:

nanoweejecks.

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is a South African girl living in South Africa. That doesn't sound very original, we know, but you might find it remotely interesting when you learn that she has only recently returned to South Africa for the first time after a nine year, one month and two week (non-stop!) stint in the United States where she accidentally became an outlawed alien (also known, especially in immigration circles, as an 'illegal immigrant.' We prefer the term 'outlawed alien' ourselves). During her reversed exile from her homeland, she kept herself occupied by winning this website (but only after shamelessly bribing the judges) and thus being unleashed on the web where she slowly, leisurely became the World's Laziest Blogger; by being a nanny and by attending sci-fi conventions in search of other aliens. In the US, she also made her sailing debut, her international acting debut, tried and failed to learn the piano, and never learned to cook. She is hopelessly addicted to coffee, dogs (especially Labrador Retrievers), how-to books (with a particular fondness for her copy of the Time/Life A - Z Medical Encyclopedia), and she tends to grossly overuse parentheses (we're not kidding) during her attempts at writing, which you may - if you really have masochistic tendencies - subject yourself to by reading the words to the right of this column. If you REALLY and truly STILL want to know more, you can read her C.V. here.
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comments
  • pylorns : nanoweejecks.... [go]
  • Cherryflava : Yay.....now Redsaid will also have a couple of lekker pics.....can't wait. I'm sure your photography... [go]
  • martha : My latest camera feat was erasing 150 pictures from a vacation from the digital camera. And now the ... [go]
  • Helen : Yeah. I missed the NaNoMo thing too. By about 30 days and 50,000 words. I blame stepkids visiting... [go]
  • pylorns : yeah I failed utterly at the deadline to write. It really fell in the wrong time of year - I just c... [go]
  • kellen : i have always wanted to take up photography. however, i have that terrible habit of being shaky whe... [go]
  • Firecracker : me thinks that piccies fall in the same category as corpses or car wrecks or such......not much use ... [go]
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