Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wake-Up Time & Pla-Doh Worms

I took more pictures than usual on Wednesday while Mabel Watson Payne gradually roused herself and returned to play-and-explore duties after the long sound sleep of the afternoon nap. And many of those pictures were better pictures than I have managed to take over the recent winter months.

Two reasons for this. The first reason was abundance, a greater-than-usual abundance of sunlight and time. The second reason was technique. FINALLY, after just about exactly a year of persistent practice, the heavy D-SLR that I still regard as my "new" camera began to respond (even with this child-in-motion as its subject) the way I was taught it ought to.

Basic competence, the photo-coach told me at the outset, should feel "like playing a musical instrument" – which it certainly never did do before. Long ago I used to play the piano. I never played the piano well, but in my youthful slapdash way I played the piano with enough facility to keep both hands busy and not hit too many wrong notes.

While I was taking the pictures above, it was the first time that camera operation (focusing manually while continuously readjusting both aperture and shutter speed) actually felt like playing the piano very fast with both hands. People used to talk about photography as compared to painting, and say that photography was either inferior to painting or superior to painting, but I line up with those who think photography has little in common with painting and more in common with music.