Much alike how I will change my original plan for this post.
I meant to write a little about the class, about how useful it had been, and to show a few samples of snapshots that proved I had through the course of 14 hours concentrated on one hectic weekend, I had become a superb photographer. But then the course didn't prove that.
What I learned through this course, in addition to the stuff on the curriculum, was a) that I am NOT (as I thought) a good-ish amateur photographer; I am a terribly mediocre one, b) my beloved camera, Buck, that has been my compadre for four years, on three continents, during various times of stress and worry; is outdated. Buck is no class act camera. Buck has limitations, and c) if I want to take great pictures I also will have to do some post-shot work, meaning Photoshop. Tampering with images is no longer an issue; only purists will consider it any different than doing work in a darkroom. Photoshop is the darkroom of the digital age.
It was three largeish disappointments to handle on top of a whole lot of (very useful) information regarding shutter speed, aperture, ISO, file formats, lightning, composition and so on. The class was interesting; the instructor impressive, engaging and lovely; and I think in the long run it will make me appreciate photography more. It has triggered a new set of thoughts around this vagueish hobby of mine. But I feel I had more use of learning of these things than of learning how to use them (especially since I didn't learn how to use them, due to points a) and b), and by default c) (since I don't have or plan to get Photoshop) above. But rather than taking all these new "rules" I've learned and putting them into use, I prefer learning by doing. Walking the road myself, see what happens. Okay, so the chances are that I will take a gazillion crappy photographs. But perhaps that is the price I have to pay to find my way of taking those few, great ones I sometimes feel I get.
One could easily turn this into a writing analogy. I recently almost applied for a writing class. I didn't tell a soul about it, because I didn't want to face having to deal with people's reactions should I not get in. In the end, I shouldn't have worried, since I didn't even apply. One reason was the whole Japan debacle that turned my life upside down for quite a while (and to an extent still does). But at the same time, this freed up considerable amounts of time, so if I had wanted I still could have applied.
The deadline was April 1st. I ended up not even trying. I could analyze it all day long, and I could make excuses all day long. It makes very little difference. But the lesson from the photo class applies here too: a writing class might have infuriated me more than inspired me, since I like to walk the path myself. Everything I know about writing, I have taught myself, from reading. By adding new genres, new authors, new books, I have expanded my horizon. Obviously there are still things I could have learned from a writing class, but I am not sure I'm ready to go there just yet. I need to figure out things on my own first, then I can absorb more information, more "rules", more ideas.
Or maybe I'm just scared to discover that I am mediocre, that I am outdated, and that I need to "Photoshop" my work before it's ready for the world?
Or. Maybe my failure to apply for the class has to do with the general post-Japan funk I've been hitting lately. I'm having a hard time getting out of bed, getting my butt off the chair in front of my computer, enjoying the weather, enjoying free time. I've been restless and motionless at the same time. I don't have anything to do, but there is an abundance of things I could do, should I feel like it. But I don't. I don't feel like doing anything. It took me days to summon the energy to write one single email to my current (former? Past and future?) employer to ask them if anything regarding "my situation" had changed. Will I go back? I still don't know. They still don't know. Shall I apply for jobs? Of course I shall. But I postpone. And postpone. It took me another day to change two lines in my resume. At this rate it will take weeks before I send off any applications.
Limbo funk. Writing funk. Spring funk. Japan funk. And now photo funk. I need to snap out of it, but I don't really feel like it. I feel like sitting in a blanket hut in my room with a flashlight, pretending that the grown-ups are monsters, and that they cannot reach me as long as I keep completely still.
This post is long, especially for A-Z standards. And yet I am asking you to visit a few links I'm about to post. Outrageous. One is another blog post I wrote for today. Over at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash the complete different side of my funk is showing - the silly side. Then, at our Burrow website, www.the-burrow.org, our collective spring mood is displayed in a brand new drabble feature. ¨
Finally, I read a blog post by the lovely Bru yesterday that really made me nod and shake my head all at the same time. She makes some very good points about the A-Z challenge, and I think the post and the comments below are well worth a read no matter how you feel about the challenge (but please keep the discussion civil). Obviously I don't agree with everything she says, since I am participating. But I must admit it got to me, even if I feel I've been clear from I signed up that I'm in this for my own part - for regularity - and not to gain followers. I won't attempt to visit every other blog in the challenge, and I don't expect every participant to visit mine. The new blogs I find as a result of the challenge, I consider a bonus. (I had a longer comment on this over at Bru's blog, but something technical sumfink has been messing with me, because it is all gone, and it was waaaay too long for me to even consider writing it again.)
Anyway. In response to Bru, possibly; as a way of talking myself through the funk, definitely; and because the whole "reader friendly, short post" concept doesn't always go well with my random, digressionary nature - this has been the monster post of the century. Bear over with me, and come back for Wordless Wednesday tomorrow (it will be a picture from my sorrow-less, pre-photo class days as a good-ish amateur, when Buck was solid gold and I thought Photoshop was for the tech savvy alone). Thanks for listening.