Boy does it have a lot of buttons

I spent this last weekend at Port Ludlow, hosting and teaching at the Strung Along April retreat, but you all know that – and I don’t want to go on about it (although it was seriously one of the most awesome things and I am not even kidding you a little. A fantastic combination in every way. Great students who were a perfect foil for each other, great teachers, great food, great goodie bags, great wine, great weather… I’m on the edge of gushing, I know, but it really did go just so perfectly well. I’ll shut up.)  Instead, let me tell you about this.  I got my new camera.

newcamerafront 2014-04-17

I’m so thrilled I can barely hold it together. Look.  See what I just did there? I’m so excited about my new camera that I took a picture of it with my other camera. (Also, it is not the first picture I have taken of it. There’s a smallish gallery developing.)

cameraback 2014-04-17

(See that? I did it again.  Be glad we are not friends or there’s an 80% chance that I’ve been texting you pictures of a camera for days, just like it’s a new puppy or something.) That second picture is part of what I want to talk about.  From the front, this camera looks a lot like my old one. From the back though? Holy smokes.

marketplacepic1 2014-04-15

(I’m pretty happy with this picture. I took it at the Community Marketplace on Saturday night. That’s ridiculously beautiful Local Color Fiber Studio yarns, and yes. I did buy a little. I’m only human.)

It came with 374 page instruction booklet and I’m only on  page 89, and It’s clear to me now that I’m going to have to read the whole thing and go to school on this.  It does so many things that I keep turning pages in the book and waiting to find out that it’s not just a camera, but a tiny little coffeemaker – because really, I think that’s the only thing that could make it better.  Right now – the experience of taking pictures with it is super exciting, but the pictures aren’t.  I’ve managed to take only a very few great ones.

winebeadsnice 2014-04-17

(I’m almost happy with this picture.  It’s my current project, or what was my current project until I discovered that somewhere between Toronto and Port Ludlow my tiny little crochet hook for beading departed my company. Super frustrating – and now this is on hold until I can get another.)

partyfavours 2014-04-15

(This is a picture of the table set for dinner the last night of the retreat. We had such beautiful party favours, courtsey of Habu – but it took me about 26 shots to get this one.  I have 25 others that are too light, too dark, too blurry, and one that is spoiled by the presence of Debbi’s arse, which is not to say that her arse isn’t perfectly nice, or that the camera screwed up that one. It was just an accidentally intimate picture.)

ballwinderout 2014-04-17

(The weather was so nice that we set up the ball winder on our balcony. It was nice to be out there, but more fun to watch people below try to figure out what we were doing.)

The first bunch I took were out of focus (then I figured out that it was on some crazy 39 point autofocus thing that predicts the movement of objects like birds – but somehow can’t cope with yarn.) Then the next bunch had the white balance all wrong, and I looked up those pages. Then the bunch after that were all screwed as I figured out how I wanted the metering set up.

mountains 2014-04-17

I can admit that the last few days have been disappointing – I think there was a tiny little part of me that really hoped that money could buy skill, and that my photos would automatically go up in quality in a way that was directly related to the quality of the camera.  I saved up for four years to buy this, and I think that I had the experience built up in my mind into something totally unfair.

flights 2014-04-15

On some little level, I thought that out of the box, this camera would be just like my other one (even though it is nothing like my other one) and everything would work the same way (which is nothing short of insane) and that it would solve every photographic problem I’ve ever had without me having to learn anything new – which is also a big fat slice of crazy pie, complete with a nice dollop of delusion right on the top.

judithfindsaslug 2014-04-17

(That’s Judith finding two really big slugs on a bracket fungi.  I am in love with the look on her face, and I’m just glad that I was able to get the exposure right fast enough.)

The truth is that this is going to be a lot like anything else. It’s new. It’s complicated, and that means that I’m going to have to do three things that aren’t instant.

cedars 2014-04-17

I’m going to have to learn. I’m going to have to practice, and I’m going to have to suck for a while while those first two things happen.  (That’s the part I hate.) I think maybe things will get worse before they get better. Stand by.  I’m reading the pages on “Bracketing” today.

(PS. I updated the gig page.  In the next few months I’ll be in Minneapolis, Buffalo and at Squam.)