Learning Photography


I swear it started right. I have the books and people to ask the questions. I’m talking about learning a little more about photography besides clicking a compact camera.


Since I was mugged on the marginal loosing my first digital camera, a very good one despite being a little old, I can’t go out for pictures with the same light attitude. In order to pick a subject I had two options: table lamps or my persona. I picked the last one and troubles began.


Perhaps explain first that I have five mirrors at home: two downstairs (living and bathroom) and three upstairs (1 corridor and 2 bathroom). I should sell them to Snow White stepmother because they are a flattering quintet. I don’t know if you have the same problem that I have, but my mirrors only show my good side. On the contrary, I frequently look terrible on the photos: red eyes, twisted expressions… The usual disaster.


At first it was pretty difficult. Still with lots of limitations, I can say that I’ve been improving. Up to this moment I have taken terrible pictures, but I also could take some acceptable ones.


Here are some notes about this experience: 1) Where am I? Perhaps because I don’t use a tripod (and somewhere I have one), the major difficulty I face is finding myself. Sometimes I get hilarious results! 2) I forget about the flash when I don’t get proper light. 3) I’ve been unable to take a full picture, but I guess this problem has to do with the lenses I am currently using. The result it’s like a puzzle of me. 4) I usually shoot 6 to 12 pictures in a row. I keep aiming to the perfect picture, but the best ones are usually the firsts. The perfect picture never happens. 5) Ten seconds to place myself in the right position? Give me a break! It takes me more than 10 seconds to cross the room where I usually stay. 6) Despite trying, I usually hate pictures of myself showing jewels or nail lacquer.


Photos show a lot in terms of details. That is kind of useful if I want to address a couple of problems. As far as I am concluding, they are extremely revealing. One moment they show some best feature in you. The next moment they show someone that you can’t even recognize. They are never able to show who you really are.


My cameras and mirrors don’t speak the same language. Because my contact with mirrors is eye to eye, they always say to me: “Hi girl, you look good today!” Cameras are more like to say: “Hi there! Look, you forget to take the plaster and now you will have a silly rectangle on your shoulder for most of this summer…”


Cameras may be less flattering, since they underline aspects that mirrors don’t. Being so critical about this particular subject, as I am, photos can become a good allied in identifying the rights and wrongs.


I don’t know about you, but mirrors are too assertive for my own taste. Having five of them it’s almost like having a private orchestra of flattery.