I have been enchanted with photo-essays since my elementary school librarian shared a Life magazine story about the Lost Dutchman’s mine in Arizona with photographs of the stone treasure maps. Mono-vision and general ineptitude kept me away from cameras until 2004 when I bought a Kodak Easy Share camera, with its own printer. For the first time I could take photos of what I saw and print them instantly.
Next I bought a Sony Cybershot to add images of my dressed-up cat Winchester to my first blog. Still, I longed to create a blog with gorgeous photographs. This meant ponying up big bucks for a Canon Rebel DSLR—the champagne and caviar of cameras among my scrapbook friends—and learning Photoshop. Pretty ambitious plan for someone who couldn’t use the menu on her point-and-shoot camera and or open Photoshop Elements, even with a Dummies for Seniors manual.
During one manic week before Christmas, I bought a Nikon DSLR at Target. The camera, with its lovely real lens, was too heavy. I returned the Nikon and bought a Sony DSLR through Amazon. I found a smart-looking case at Ritz Camera and signed up for photography classes. The Sony lacked the capability of viewing through the LED window. Back went the Sony and I purchased a lighter Nikon “bridge” camera. I returned the Sony case and bought a smaller one to accommodate the Nikon and canceled the photography classes.
On Christmas morning, as my husband frantically checked our account balance to make sure we weren’t heading into foreclosure, I snapped a few snow scenes then gave him the Nikon. Later I bought myself what I wanted all along—a new Cybershot. When it came to cameras, I was strictly beer and pretzels. But after years of using the Cybershot, I decided it was time to move into a compact camera with manual controls. (Do I use them? Hardly ever.)
Editing my photos was another story. Hours spent on Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa, and Elements ended in frustration. Then it occurred to me if my blog is a reflection of what I see at a given moment, why should the accompanying pictures be edited to look better?
For years, my photos displayed this attitude. Then in 2012, I took an online class to conquer my fear of photo editing, and learned (barely) Photoshop Elements 10. I also use RadLab and Snapseed when I want arty-type photos but am too lazy to go through the gyrations of adding textures and actions within Elements.