So it all started when I saw “digital photography” (at least it doesn’t say “for dummies”) at Costco. You know, the evil thing about Costco, I mean, the good thing about Costco and my evil side, is that anything and everything is returnable. So I bought the book and planned to read it and return it.
Costco struck back with a vengeance. I began to realize the book is useless with my antique digital camera, apparently appropriately named “point-and-shoot”. I cannot change shutter speed, aperture, and 20 other fancy paremeters on this camera. So I had to buy a REAL digital camera, a dSLR i.e. digital-single-lens-reflex camera, from Costco. I told myself I can return it later, maybe, although then the entire process becomes completely idiotic. After consulting the hopeless photography fanatic friend Yi, I figured a $350 camera would not kill anyone, although it did kill my budget for this month.
So I decided to apply what I had read to some hands-on exercises. Pulled Pancake’s chair out and started shooting anything across the street. Actually, anything moving. I am practicing changing shutter speed. The amazing discovery I made from this exercise is that a car moves faster than a kid, and a kid moves faster than his grandma. I have to make the shutter speed really fast to freeze a car. In fact, perhaps San Marino police department can hire me to measure car speed in our residential zone. I tried “panning”, which is when you move your camera so the moving car appears stationary, and the background is blurred to give a sense of motion.
The frustrating thing is, very few cars come down our block. I tried to catch them but always heard it coming from the wrong side. Also I wondered if some driver would jump out and yank on my throat to hand over the film (oh, disc). As I was concentrating on my task, the mailman came and almost stepped on me. He handed me the bundle of junk mail plus Nordstrom catalogue.
If you are wondering how I can take a picture of myself holding the camera, I took it with the old sad camera on the even more unbelivably sad tripod courtesy of Liz. Long story. Gotta buy a real tripod.