photographers’ woes: introduction

    yellow glass bubbles at the Phoenix Art Museum – Leica M8  1/8sec @ f2.8 – shot with yellow filter
Oh the woes of the photographer. There are many. 
I was talking to a photographer friend tonight and of course we talked about, photography. Our conversation turned to the subject of focusing, and then on to asking someone to take our picture (with our camera) who is a non-photographer. The “Shutter Disappearance Phenomenon” is a common bewilderment. For some reason when you look, smell, act, walk, have a camera like a photographer, people treat your camera as if it came from another planet. The shutter button always disappears, which in turn causes us to have to explain to the person how to take the photograph. That in turn leads to a picture of us with our mouth open at a disagreeable shape, arms bent at odd angles, and brow at an odd pitch because we are giving a photography lecture… on the shutter button. I digress. 

Another woe of the photographer is the usually “Unflattering Snapshots” the family takes of us in action. While photographers are out and about, whether working intentionally or seizing the moment, we spring into action to get the shot we want. I recently had such an experience. Some of the hunters of the family killed a wildcat and brought it home. Being excited and wanting a picture of the beautiful animal, I grabbed my fleece-lined boots and a work coat and made fast time to the porch. As I was seizing the moment and not going out for a fashion show, my boots and coat were paired with a cotton t-shirt and reflective running shorts. Jolly. The resulting photograph made of me while photographing the wildcat is a very unflattering side angle. The altitude of my derriere higher than the rest of me, with day-glo white legs coming out from under a large brown coat down into fluff-topped calf-high boots. Quite a sight. Not one for the Facebook profile page I should say…

We also have what I call “Unplugged Moments”. There are so many cords to deal with when you get a lot of equipment going on. This is especially a problem when 1) you only have two USB ports 2) you use a keyboard with your laptop and 3) all of your cables are black. Such confusion can arise when you try to type thinking that your keyboard is plugged in, only to find that it was actually your graphics tablet. Or, you can’t figure out why your card isn’t reading, and then discover that you had the keyboard plugged in for once. So many wasted minutes banging away at the keyboard trying to think of what is wrong with the computer for the keys to not work. Good golly.

Another technical woe that we photographers run into are the “Murderous Lag Times” that we endure while working on long exposures at night or in low light. After making a long exposure (I had some recently at 184 seconds long/3 minutes), the camera takes the same amount of time to write the image onto our handy dandy little storage cards. Now for some of us who knew the age of film where you took the photo, cranked the film forward, and kept on shooting did not experience this lag in between shots. Digital era photographers have resorted to checking their emails on cell phones, reading novels, and even taking naps while waiting for their images to write. 

A review of this weeks woes:
-Shutter Disappearance Phenomenon aka. SDP
-Unflattering Snapshots
-Unplugged Moments
-Murderous Lag Times

So far, this covers our introduction to the Photographers’ Woes. Please join us again next time for more woes and things that make us want to “chuck a wobbly” (or throw a fit).

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