So beginning my blog has forced me to take a closer and more realistic look at PHOTOS. Having a son, Eli, who is 17 years old, a professional photographer, and damn near the most picky perfectionist on the planet about photographs does not make it easy. His first comments when he saw my early posts were "you need better photos." Funny that he took most all of them! Granted they were taken with an iPhone and, when taken, there was no intention for them to go any farther than Facebook sharing so...
So I find myself with an iPhone and a blog. But Eli says I need to take the photos for my blog with my "camera". My camera is a little Canon thing that was one of Eli's earliest cameras. I "bought" it from him years ago and have never used it. I am not a picture-taker. Look at the title of my blog: "This Present Life". To me, stopping in a moment, any moment, to take a photo, takes me OUT of the moment and being in the present! This is just my opinion and now I have to change my ways.
When creating my most recent post and being at a loss with no appropriate photo on hand (and Eli has forbidden me to access Creative Commons online to embellish my blog with photos by others), I had to fess up to the fact that I needed to actually stop and TAKE A PICTURE.
Eli unburied my Canon from the dusty realms of the crap all over the 2nd floor of my house. We are reorganizing up there. I don't want to go into it.
While the Canon charged. Eli took apart a corner of my kitchen. So now I have to deal with that crap of a mess too. I don't want to go into that either. Oh, did I mention I'm down with a cold/flu-thing right now? No. I don't want to go into THAT either!
Eli set up and somewhat "styled" my selected items: onions, garlic, carrots. Arranged on an oblong narrow platter, he told me that this was not the final way it would look, that I would have to "style" my own photo. He was just arranging an example and then he used his iPhone to "frame" the shot.
See how good I'm getting at the photo lingo already...
Once my Canon dust collector was charged, Eli put me to work. I had to set up the vegetables which were now reduced to three onions because Eli told me my "styling" was too overdone. "But that's me" I replied. He wouldn't have it. He is the professional and so I deferred to him.
I "framed" my photo on a slight angle to the onions and I pressed the button. I took a picture. Hallelujah! Right?
Then to the computer to "import". I couldn't even figure out to get the card thingy OUT of the camera. Eli was amused and let me stumble and struggle every step of the way. I whined. I'm sick, remember?
Photo was imported and Eli did some simple edits in iPhoto while I watched. Okay, I got it. I kept asking him if he "liked" my picture - "yes" he said over and over. And then it happened...
Once the photo was "edited", Eli threw a fit. "This is horrible!" he screamed. He didn't really scream, but that's funnier and I know he was screaming inside. "You are NOT using this photo!" he added. "Why?" I asked. "LOOK AT IT, it's terrible." And here I was thinking he liked my picture.
That was lesson number 7 (or somewhere around there). You can like a picture, how it is framed and all, but that doesn't make it a good photo. Eli couldn't edit the original photo which was taken with this old unsophisticated Canon camera sufficiently to make it acceptable to his standards.
My response? "Whatever." That didn't go over very well.
Next thing that happened: Eli goes into his big gear suitcase and takes out his fancy-ass Nikon D800. I'm watching like: "are you kidding me?" I assure you, Eli is NOT kidding.
Next thing that happened: Eli shuts off all the lights in the kitchen. It is already late in the day and quite dark. Eli doesn't use a flash so I'm wondering what the hell is going on. Ron emerges from his office in the back of the house with "is there a reason all the lights are out?" He is confused. So am I.
Next thing that happened: Eli takes a bunch of pictures of 3 onions. He brings them over to import them. They need VERY LITTLE editing (because of his fancy-ass Nikon D800 camera).
Next thing that happened: He deleted MY photo from iPhoto and I mention that it is a shame because this all would have made a great blog post! Well good thing there was still a copy of it in my computer folder or this post may not exist...
Next thing that happened: Eli told me that whenever I want a photo for one of my blog posts, I should arrange and "style" what I want for the photo and he would take the actual photograph for me! WOO HOO! But I still have to edit my own photos.
I'm open to it. The learning, the struggle, all of it. I am grateful for it even. I have Eli here to help for at least another 9 months or so before he moves to NYC and pursues his photography career there. Might as well allow him to teach me while he is here! Right?
Judge for yourself and let me know what you think in the comment section --- directly below is the "Good Onions". Below that is the "Bad Onions".
I can see it now. Can you?
Photo Credit: Eli Dagostino Photography (top -that one is an oldie taken with I don't even know what camera-, center); Me (bottom)