Curse me for a novice

“Curse me for a novice” was, as any comic book geek like me would know, something that Dr. Strange would say in the comics. He would utter it when he made an easy mistake or forgot something simple in casting his magic spells, which was surprisingly quite often for someone billed as the Sorcerer Supreme. But it proves a point that even the best of us, no matter how skilled, can mess up at times. Even after 35 years as a working photographer, I had my own curse-me-for-a-novice moment recently.

On Sunday, March 31, my 21-year-old son Christopher and I took a trip up to Daffodil Hill near the Mother Lode town of Volcano for the attraction’s opening weekend. It was a beautiful day with blue skies and pleasant temperatures. Thousands upon thousands of the white or yellow blossoms dotted the 36-acre ranch. I took my camera out of my bag and realized that I had broken the 9th unofficial rule of photography: always have batteries. 

Technically, my camera had a battery, it was just dead. for I had forgotten to make sure that it was charged up before leaving the house. I had a second battery but it was sitting on a charger at home, about an hour and half away. 

There’s a trick that you can do if your battery goes dead while shooting and you don’t have a spare. Turn the camera off, take the battery out, then re-insert it. Sometimes there’s enough of a reserve charge to fire of a frame or two. I tried it, but the battery was so depleted that it didn’t work. So my camera became an expensive, 3-lb paperweight having on my shoulder.

Fortunately my son had is camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T6, and graciously let me use it. I worked as quickly as I could because I knew that he wanted to take pictures too, The Rebel is an excellent beginners camera but I’m used to a pro level machine, so I had to adjust to it. 

The Rebel is small, again, great for novices, but since I was the one who made the novice mistake, I had to get used to how it handled. It felt too small for my hands. My pinky finger hung off of it’s grip with nothing to hold onto. It’s smallness also translates to it’s weight. It weighs about 1-lb, lighter than the lenses I was using, which made it front-heavy. 

Canon must believe that most users of the Rebel will be using an automatic setting because changing exposure settings manually on it took more steps than on my camera. I had going the camera’s menu then press a button then turn a dial to change the aperture and then again for the shutter speeds, taking the camera from my eye each time. With my professional camera I had to do is to turn a dial for each never having look away from the viewfinder if I didn’t want to.

I got my photos and returned the camera to my son who was off taking pictures with his phone while I was shooting. That gave me the idea of taking some with my own phone. 

The curse of being a novice can also be a blessing, because if you want to improve your photos you should slow your process down and think more. Shooting with my son’s camera and then with my phone, made me slow down and consider my pictures carefully. I didn’t take as many photos as I normally would have but the ones I did take were all the better for it.

This entry was posted in Equipment. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form.
  • Categories

  • Archives