Monday, 21 November 2011

Conscious incompetence

So life with a new camera goes something like this:

Yesterday lots of pictures taken and most of them discarded, apart from a nice one of Flossie and neighbour's 8-month-old Milo. (Easy to spot which is the boy.)


Weather today wet and gloomy, not encouraging. Camera sits on the desk, unused.

Tonight, ok, let's have a go. Oh.... nothing's happening....

Take the lens cap off. That might help.

Nothing's happening....

Switch the camera on. Oh yes, that helped too.

What else? Where are my specs?

Find specs. Peer at the little dial on the top of the camera. Yes, the flash is off.

What's that little symbol? So many symbols....


Oooh, the screen has a message on it. Autofocus automatically set. That's ok then. Realise room far too dark; put flash on again.

Take photos of large dog in front of the wood burner, looking anaesthetised with heat.

Put photos on computer.

Oh, all blurry.

(Cue pathetic voice) "Tricia! My photos are all blurry, but the camera screen says I was on autofocus."

Tricia (checks camera): "You were on manual focus." The screen lied. My little pocket camera is so much simpler to use. (But doesn't make that satisfying deep CLICK when shutter is pressed....)

Oh. Change to autofocus. Take photos with flash. Complain about hating flash photos. Upload to computer; feel discouraged.


Meantime, anaesthetised dog has fallen off the cushion in front of the fire. Take photos with flash.


Perhaps I should read the instruction booklet. Where have I put the instruction booklet?

Look for instruction booklet, distracting myself by making a cup of tea. Leave camera in kitchen.

Tricia walks through to the room I'm in, holding up the lens cap in a tut-tutting way. I am in trouble for forgetting yet again, in this dusty, pet-hairy house, to put the lens cap back on.


Forget about booklet; decide to watch tv instead. I may be a dimwit with cameras, but I manage to answer some of University Challenge's questions.

Tomorrow I will take this camera out and about with me and practise. If I can answer some of UC's questions, I can learn to work my new camera. Can't I?

24 comments:

Noelle said...

Oh Flossie...Life is so tough...

Hang in there Rachel, that camera might be a challenge but think of all the wonderful photos you will be able to post...maybe even a book in the long run...

Thanks for sharing!

Arthur Ransome said...

Yes, you certainly can and you won't have J. Paxman telling you to hurry up. It's lovely to see Flossie so zonked - the joy of wood stoves.

Bow Street Flowers said...

You can!! I hate using my flash..rather, I do not use my flash. Flowers look terrible in a flash. Natural light on cloudy days is perfect!

judy in ky said...

You sound so much like me when it comes to cameras! I love auto focus. Your subject (Flossie) is foolproof though.
I have learned to be fastidious about putting my lens cap back on, with four cats roaming around.

dinahmow said...

Oh, thanks for reminding me - I have to re-load the Fujica software on P's computer!
(Also have to figure out the recording part of the new telly. sigh...)

Amy McPherson Sirk said...

You'll get the hang of it. Relax and enjoy.

flwrjane said...

You probably can because you seem the height of competence to me.

Is Trish laughing because I mean it.

xo Jane

A Heron's View said...

Tell you what repack camera in box and send it to me Please :)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Oh good ! It's not just me ...
My new Olympus was concisely and thoroughly explained to me by Smitonius one evening much to her partner's amusement . "There will be questions after this lecture", came a dry comment from behind the newspaper .
I tried , I really did . But I'm only happy ( most of the time) with a litte point-and-shoot Canon .
It's just practice , though . You'll soon be winning prizes with Flossie as in-house model .

Lucille said...

I still haven't read the booklet. I find I use P quite often (don't know what it means) and little flower for close ups and mountains for outside. I have a button called SCN which offers me peripheral defocus which makes my pictures look cleverer than they are. I find that holding the camera depresses buttons accidentally and I hate the fact that you can't attach the lens cap to the camera. It is a miracle that I still have it.

Preseli Mags said...

I had to chuckle at this - it's so similar to they way things have been with my new (old) Eos. I started out scared of it and then I took 682 pictures in a month. It's a shame I don't live nearer - I could add a third identical dog to that top photograph!

Desiree said...

Bon courage, you will learn. I can't wait for those photographs.

Sue said...

To protect your lenses from hair and fluff get some UV filters. They are very cheap and screw on to the lens.

There are some great camera tutorials on the internet. I don't use the manual setting, I use the AV setting which allows you to adjusts the aperture without having to worry about any of the other things.

It does get easier!

frayedattheedge said...

Don't despair - if I can master my camera, you can master yours - although I did have help from Stuart, who has the same one! He also drilled little holes in the lens caps, so that I could thread some fine cord through and tie them on to the camera strap (I still forget to put them back on!!
Looking forward to seeing how you get on.

ps - yes, that's definitely a boy dog!!

the veg artist said...

I have one of those little wheel selectors on my little camera. I also needs specs to see whether it has moved since I used it last!
Nice photos of Flossie!

annie hoff said...

The best advice I was ever given was to read the manual and keep taking pictures over and over and over again. I still haven't read all of the manual but I do keep taking pictures - lots of them out of focus! http://www.dpreview.com/ is a helpful website and has a forum for 'beginners questions'
Don't give up, enjoy it, the more you use the camera the more familiar it will become.

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...

Instruction manuals...shudder!!

Hope it starts to be more fun than frustration very soon, at least you have an in-house expert at the moment!

lynnekovan.com said...

Oh goodness, I know exactly what you mean! what's more, black dogs are really difficult to photograph in anything but good natural light. I think you did a good job. Don't give up!

Val & the Girls BK & CK said...

erm at the risk of sounding like an idiot that loses things can I advise a bright sticker/reflective tape stuck on said lens cover...
love the dog by fire pose...if I send you the pup would you tire him out for us ...please

MLou said...

The camera manuals I have are almost totally useless. There are some better things to be found on the net. Just type in your question and camera type and an answer usually pops out. The best thing is to keep shooting. And ask Tricia about a tripod. They really help in low light. Do you read the pioneer woman? She has a section on photography and her work has dramatically improved over the last few years. Check out her photo section: http://thepioneerwoman.com/photography/2008/05/what-the-heck-is-an-aperture-part-one/

Dartford Warbler said...

....and I was thinking about updating my little Point and Shoot camera......

I hope you get the hang of it soon!

A great photo of the two black Labs.xx

gwen said...

You are Hilarious!!!

Susan said...

You should get a little elasticized stringy attachment thingy for lens cap (any camera store). In my world lens cap must be physically attached to camera to not be lost & what about ... wait for it ....

a tripod ---- ooh now there's an idea. And you must get Photoshop Elements which can help make any so-so photo simply magnificent.

tips from Susan xoxoxox les Gang

hasenschneck said...

I take almost all my Canon DSLR pictures using the no flash auto setting (which is naughty because I have been taught how not to...) which is the one after the green box. It works well enough except in very low light inside. Absolutely love the prone dog!

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