I am taking a chance right now.
This is different from the “chances” I normally take, like only putting butter on my Eggos instead of peanut butter. This is a potential-to-fall-on-my-ass-and-be-laffed-at-chance.
It’s a creative chance.
I am taking a digital photography and Photoshop course with my Dad. Dad, who took a 2-year Photographic Arts diploma from Algonquin College before I was ever a zygote. Dad, whose photography portfolio I used to sneak into my bedroom and wonder if I would ever possess an iota of his creative, artistic talents. Dad, who I have always been cautious to show my pictures to because his are always so good, even when they’re just plain old snapshots.
I’ve never learned how to properly frame a shot, expose, light, or make nice. I’ve always had a point and shoot compact camera, and until the digital age, barely took ANY pictures because the film always came back looking awful. In the digital age, I still barely took pictures. I used excuses like “The delay on the auto-focus takes too long” and such.
Last April (yes, 13 months ago…), my ever-lovin’ husband bought me a dSLR for my college graduation. I wanted one simply because I could take pictures quickly, no delay from the auto-focus! Yes, that is a reason to spend $800. We broke my family’s Canon-only rule and went for a Nikon D40x, with an 18-55mm zoom lens. Aka, the Kit.
And for a year, I took pictures on Automatic. I tried to switch to manual, not use flash, blah blah blah… but the pictures were all dark and grainy. You wanna know why? Cuz I didn’t know how to use my freakin’ $800 camera! And I made excuses! ”The manual doesn’t explain HOW to take a picture, just where the buttons are.” ”The digital photography books don’t specifically address MY camera, so I can’t learn from them.” And so on…
SO when dear ol’ Dad turned the big 5-0 and bought a snazzy new Canon dSLR, I saw the dawning of a new era! He had to take a digital photography course! I could take it with him!
And now, here I am, up to my earballs in photography assignments, drowning in techniques that I haven’t learned, and terrified that my creative pursuits will fall short. I don’t want to be as good as him (tho it would be nice). I just want people to say “Oh, you must take after your father!”