learning the language

Yesterday I went through four memory cards worth of photos looking for gems. It’s time for me to print a few. Since I came back from the island I haven’t deleted anything from them, or even really looked at the many pictures I took while I was away, because the weather was so gloomy gray and so many of them are disappointing. The images went back to late winter, and then into the nonstarter of a spring and blazing summer. I watched the data change for each image, noting the adjustments I made.

I found the day where I waited for my bus from a grassy patch and really—really—figured out what ISO adjustments do as I shot car after car. I found a garbage truck that I shot simply because it reminded me of a friend whose little boy loves garbage trucks. I saw my guru tree, which still had no leaves on May 20 and which had me a little worried. I saw the local antique barn in radiant red and green on a brilliant blue day. I saw the world’s longest covered bridge, which is silver and gray and doesn’t really make a very nice picture even on a good-weather day. I saw a salad I tried to shoot and failed; I don’t know what happened there, but it’s ugly and the best part of the photo is the three scattered torrone boxes I moved out of the center of the shot.

At the covered bridge I learned about white balance. This is the best image I got that day, the one where the greens are truest. It didn’t help the bridge, which I thought was made out of corrugated metal until I got home and read about it. And, I mean, look at this picture. Does it make you want to go inside the world’s longest covered bridge? No, it does not.

I am learning to like learning by frustration. I am learning to like my mistakes for what they have to teach me. It’s taking a while, but I’ve got patience. It’s a whole new language, really. My accent’s going to be weird for a while.