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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Photographic Enigma


I am not new to photography, the science of Daguerre, Eastman, Wheatstone, Fox Talbot, Claudet. I am capable in dark rooms, which is the best that can be said of anybody. But with the advent of digital cameras my experience does not apply; I am once again an ignorant primitive. Why do I find that refreshing?

It is the Computer Age. This means one can find out anything and clear things up. Above is a picture taken with a digital camera of my stunt double holding one of our grandchildren. By way of clarification I have called my wife Stunt Double for many years for some reason --perhaps because she steps in when babies need proper holding. I forget her real name. But, point is, with a computer I can find out important stuff about her.

For instance, I can type "My Stunt Double" into this computer and translate it into Russian: 2 времени мое затруднение роста. Then I can translate "2 времени мое затруднение роста" back into English, which is "Twice my growth obstruction." Learning doesn't get more exciting than that. But there are drawbacks.

My 35mm Mamiya/Sekor 1000TL SLR camera is only 50 years old and now collects dust. It and the skills it required are obsolete. My wife could never master its intricacies but bought a computerized digital camera and takes perfect pictures every time she uses it. I, on the other hand, have trouble.

Consider the photo above, which I took because a baby needed holding in its composition. This is not a thing one leaves to chance (me), so my Stunt Double stepped in and I was given the digital camera. As you can see, it would have been a perfect photo had not two things happened suddenly: house tilted to 45-degree angle; someone detonated an Atomic Bomb right outside the window.

So, wasn't my fault. 50 years ago my elders used to ask me,"Why are you so serious? You are young and should be making an idiot of yourself!" To which I would answer, there will be time for that when I'm your age. And induced the beautiful low tones,"Ah malnino, no facies!" Obsolete? I think not, neither is the old Hollywood addage obsolete:"There's no economy in a cheap 2 времени мое затруднение роста."

I'm right about idiocy being more refreshing NOW too!

7 comments:

  1. I see nothing wrong with the angle of this photograph or its composition! I wonder why and even more if you are truly so self-effacing about not being adept with a digital camera; methinks you are just jonesing for compliments, which you well deserve. I remember others saying this same thing of you way back in the day, "Why are you so serious? You are young and should be making an idiot of yourself!" And I thought they too were either unobservant or just not digging what you were up to. I always thought you were a marvelous and creative, imaginative idiot...and you still are!

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  2. Obrigado Willie! I guess you Italians got the Roman strength, savvy and panache while we Portuguese got the spelling. So who's responsible for sending that Greek up to Russia to inflict the awful Cyrillic alphabet on them?

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  3. Alexander?
    I Love your "Stunt Double" moniker. Is moniker correct?

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  4. There were 3 St. Cyrils. One was indeed Pope of Alexandria. He was not responsible for Cyrillic script, nor was St. Cyril Of Jerusalem, but they all kept getting each others' mail.

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  5. I see what you mean about the faces, it must be how we all look when we hold babies! I enjoy angled composition and like the window dressing. :)


    I admire that you are/were adept at 35mm SLR cameras. My husband had one but and and still takes amazing photos. He's a natural. We sold the 35mm a few years back to get a very nice digital SLR. For years I complained about it, why the camera took great pictures for him and not for me! I'm learning it was one of those blame the user, not the tool things.

    The library has been my friend and I really enjoy learning about photography. There's nothing like viewing a moment in time through another person's perspective.

    Heidi

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  6. Thank you, Butterfly Mama. Altho an old man I am always a young photographer.

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