Now most people would think that if you need to think, then sitting staring at a computer screen might not be the best idea – go outside, take a walk perhaps. But the only place I visit outside this humble abode is exactly the place I’m trying to avoid thinking about, and it’s absolutely Baltic out. So, a good choice of things to look at would be a wise idea.
Coupled with me (finally) doing another bit of image processing (Dan – the maps are online now), I had a fairly long flick through my photo collection. I’ve found a program (that comes with Mandrake, unsurprisingly) that acts as a fantastic, em… Well, it’s not really a photo album. I guess it’s the digital equivalent of digging out a set of prints, and thumbing through them. It lets you do previous / next, increase brightness and contrast (always required with my camera) and rotation, all with just a few keypresses. Which is exactly what I’ve been wanting – if I want to edit images properly, then I can use a proper image editor.
And basically, my photos have reminded me of better times. I’d put them here for everyone to see, but I’m too stingy with my webspace, data transfer, and more importantly, time and effort. So you’ll just have to come round and see them sometime, if you care. From being pissed in Fulham, through night-time fire juggling and comedy at the Union, collecting for RAG, a trip to Wye and Silwood that I’ll never forget (and the grip marks from the minibus dashboard will never fade), Saint Patrick’s Day, a trip to Wimbledon and one to Kew, my summer visit back home to Scotland and painting on a hot tin roof, the Falkirk Wheel and Karting in Tilbury (polar opposites of industrial technology), a crew training day and the final set for the play, there’s been plenty of things in this year that have been as enjoyable as they are photogenic. Which gives me an urge to take photos of things – but I fear that I have cause and effect mixed up slightly. I don’t reckon that taking photos of things will cause me to be happy, but I’m hoping I take lots of photos of something soon.
Deep, huh? Or if you don’t get it, remember how subtle and twisted my mind usually works, then you might understand.
I’m definitely liking my camera now that I’ve got rechargable batteries for it. It’s still been more expensive than a normal camera, but I hated paying for all the film all the time, so I never used my old one. Eventually, in about another decade or so, and a few thousand photos down the line, it will have been (economically) worth it. But if I attach any value to the photos I have taken with it, that I wouldn’t have otherwise, it’s been worth it already.
I’m even starting to notice all its flaws, which is surprising for someone like me, who has no artistic or creative skills whatsoever. I’ve wanted to override the automatic focus quite a few times, to get a specific effect (usually trying to focus on something in the distance, with foreground stuff to frame it), or cursing that I can’t control the exposure time, when using a flash would destroy the scene that I’m trying to capture, but a shaky hand destroys the picture. Some depth of field control would be nice too. So I feel that I’m learning stuff about photography.
I’ve still got some way to go to catch up with some of my friends. Not only are they better at photography, but they’ve definitely got more photogenic subjects for their photos. I know the song that the strangers couldn’t guess; if you know what I’m talking about, you know what I mean.