Friday, January 21, 2011

Polishing turds

“I’m not a photographer. I write.”

That’s the excuse I give people every day as I take their picture. It’s good way to lighten the mood as I fumble my way around my new camera in an attempt to take a photo worthy of the paper.

Although I’m already improving, I find playing both roles – photographer and reporter – is actually really difficult, especially without any formal photography training.

My friend and coworker Kira, who worked as a freelance photographer in Victoria for the past two years, started teaching me about ISO, aperture and shutter speed last week.

Basically all I managed to retain from the lesson was that they all have to do with light.

If I recall correctly, aperture is how much is in focus. Shutter speed determines how long you let light in. And ISO changes the camera’s sensitivity to light.

Now that’s just me spouting out what I think she said, so don’t take my word for it.

If I’m right, then I think I can handle the concepts, it’s just when the numbers get thrown into the mix that I get really confused.

I think I must have said, “Huh?” about 30 times during Kira’s forty-minute lesson.

No one ever told me photography involved math. I thought you just had to have a creative eye and the ability to point and shoot.

I think learning will require a lot of fiddling, frustration and yelling of profanities.

I’ve been assured by all of my coworkers and many of my artistic friends that it’s not that hard, so I hope if I stick with it and practice, I’ll be taking award-winning photos in no time.

Well maybe not award-winning. It would at least be nice to snap some shots that don’t make my photo editor, who also happens to be my boyfriend, groan.

He always says his job is to “polish turds.”

So my goal is to turn in at least a few photos that not only look more appealing than feces, but smell better, too.


  1. Maybe your turd will win an award like my turd did. :)

  2. I can only hope! Although I would hate to take the turd of the year award out of your deserving hands. :)

  3. I think our JSchool was lacking in that they didn't teach us photography! I produce many turds.