In 2010, when I first started this blog there were 2 things that I struggled with. The enormous popularity of the movie Avatar … and photography.
Incidentally, I hated the movie Titanic too, so you might as well double up on the whole fist shaking thing you’re directing at me right now.
If you're wondering what that blob above is, it's a photograph of a knob of ginger that I took for this blog in 2010. I was proud of that blob. It felt artsy.
While Avatar only robbed me of 17 hours of my life (that’s exactly how long it was), taking a single photo for my blog sometimes took me days. I could NOT figure anything out.
The following shot almost did me in. It took me 2 full days to get a photograph I thought was worthy of the site Design*Sponge. The picture was also going into my How to Recover a Chair in 5 Minutes post, one of the first posts I wrote.
All I wanted was a little bit of a blurred background (I had no idea at the time that this was called depth of field). After spinning dials, stepping forward, stepping back, crying, changing settings, applying calamine lotion to hives, going to bed, waking up, cocking my head, trying again, ugly crying with snot bubbles, and trying again, I ended up with an out of focus but half decently balanced (now that I look at it again) photo.
I had no editing software. How I took the photo was how the photo was published. And the photo was almost always bad.
7 years later I had learned Photoshop & edited the same photo to make the colour better and lighten it up.
If I still had the chair, the throw, the floors or the bookcases, I might consider trying to replicate that shot right now with my Fuji camera.
But I don't. Because sometimes I flip into a fit and get rid of all the things I see. The Mongolian lamb throw became so mangled and dirty that it was garbage. The vintage chair underneath went out to the front of my house for free, where it was picked up by a neighbour up the street, who put it out in front of their house for free about 7 years later.
Not coming by photography naturally was a bit disconcerting. I always revered architects and photographers growing up.
Architects wore cool eyeglasses.
But Photographers breezed into warehouse lofts filled with models, advertising executives and snacks. They wore faded black jeans with $700 tee shirts. As a photographer, an assistant hands you a big, bulky camera which you take 30 rapid fire shots with, before handing it back to them & disappearing down a warehouse elevator with Andy Warhol. Because you were meeting Madonna for dinner. Who totally stole your look for her Borderline video. Skank.
I even went so far as to take a 12 week long college level course in photography when I was in grade 11 to get a good head start on hanging out with Andy Warhol. Nobody at my course was super-cool and most disappointingly I had no access to free snacks.
Ironically, I did end up meeting Andy Warhol, one year later in New York City. He did not take me to dinner with Madonna.
After the photography course I still had no idea what any of the numbers on my camera dials meant. Specifically my father's vintage camera in a brown leather case.
When I started blogging I was forced into taking another course. It was that or beg a crow to peck my eyeballs out so photography just wasn't an option anymore.
So I took a course. Then I took another one. Then another. And then I had a successful commercial photographer friend give me a lesson. And then they came out with the iPhone and I didn't need to know anything at all about photography again.
I'm only kind of kidding. An iPhone is the camera I use 90% of the time now. My really good, really fun, Fuji mirrorless sits in a cupboard for special occasions.
What's the moral of this story?
Nothing. At least I didn't think so.
THEN I DID SOMETHING
I plugged my entire post into ChatGPT and asked it what the moral of this story was.
And apparently, it's this.
- Persistence pays off: Despite initial struggles and frustrations with photography, the author persevered and eventually improved their skills over time. This emphasizes the importance of dedication and determination in achieving one's goals.
- Adaptability is key: The author's willingness to learn and adapt, even when faced with challenges or technological advancements like the iPhone, allowed them to continue pursuing their passion for photography. This highlights the importance of being flexible and open to change in the pursuit of personal growth and success.
- Embrace imperfection: The story showcases the author's journey from struggling with photography to eventually accepting and even enhancing imperfections in their work through editing. It teaches the valuable lesson that perfection is not always attainable or necessary, and that flaws can add character and uniqueness to creative endeavors.
- Humility and self-awareness: The author reflects on their initial struggles and misconceptions about photography, demonstrating humility and a willingness to learn from mistakes. This underscores the importance of self-awareness and the ability to acknowledge areas for improvement, which are essential traits for personal and professional development.
- Letting go of expectations: The author's decision to let go of possessions like the chair and throw, as well as their initial fantasies about the glamorous life of photographers, illustrates the importance of letting go of unrealistic expectations and embracing the reality of one's circumstances. This can lead to greater contentment and fulfillment in life.
I actually thought the moral was to become an architect.