I know, pride isn't a great thing to have, I don't think of myself as prideful... but I think I'm used to being around kind people that this stung.
I'm here in Oklahoma City at the moment, covering a big horse show and writing stories that I find and taking the odd picture. They don't need my photos, they just need my writing, which is fine, I like practicing with my camera. Well there is a photographer here who is really good and he was letting me pick his brain a little. He saw me reading my camera's instruction manual and laughed a bit, saying "uh-oh, that's never a good sign."
I said I wasn't really a photographer, I'm just a writer. He checked over my camera, said it was nice, asked me some questions.. more techincal questions that I didn't have answers to.. I felt kind of like an idiot. All I wanted to know was what was a good setting for taking pictures inside. Like a good ISO for the arena we were in, was sort of f-stop.... I was trying not to be too dense and was really trying to understand what he was saying. I don't think he was trying to be mean.
Then I did a dumb thing, I said "do you want to see my pictures?" and I showed him some on my web site. The comments were "sorry, that's so over-exposed I can't really make it out" or "wow, that cat is super-over-exposed" or "you have to connect with the eyes, sorry, that one doesn't have the impact it could". I can't really say I'm devestated... I knew I wasn't an awesome photographer... but I really felt like crying. I didn't expect praise for the photos... but maybe I expected some sort of praise for my efforts... a start... for trying... I think my composition is good, but it's the science I can't get. I don't understand inverse relationships between this setting and that setting and how the color works and the workings of the camera.
It really made me think about how I might approach a new writer. New creatives/writers/photographers are all very similar... they are fragile beings with tender little wings and if you poke too hard at them they will bruise.
I think I'll be taking my photos down from my web site, I can't bear to have them there if real photographers are looking that critically at them. I feel stupid for showing my pictures to him, he must think I'm a real dolt.
But I've wanted to take some photography courses .... but who has the bloody time! I can't do it all and my photography has just been lower on the totem pole, I like it and I enjoy it... but I'm not yet a photographer. It's not as natural to me.
I just wish... I don't know.. he could have been a little kinder. But hey, now I know I have a tendency to overexpose and "blow out my highlights".