Saturday, December 01, 2007

Owie, says my pride

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".


Anette said...

Don't take down your pictures! You got a book deal, you are an authority in your field take that wet blanket's grumbling and toss it out into the snow!

Some people really just aren't happy unless they are making other people miserable. If you want to learn more about taking pictures skip the classes go to one of the old camera shops in town (Calgary has several) and ask one of the older staff members they will spend hours giving you tips and enjoy doing it.

Merry Christmas.

AGK said...

We're all beginners when we begin. Leave your photos. Just continue to grow. :)