The No-brainer Side of the Knob

Crap!  I wrote yesterday, so I must write today if I’m going to write tomorrow.  Remember, I promised mechanical prose for a couple of days while I work out the cobwebs.

Early in mid-December we bought a new digital SLR.  A Canon XSI.  This model sits at the top of the first tier of digital SLRs for Canon.  Of course I wanted to go higher–that’s why the marketing folk make tiers–but I resisted such inclinations.  I’m starting to realize that features I can’t understand or determine when I’d use are features I don’t want to buy.

We’re pleased with the camera overall, but haven’t given it much of a workout.  We pushed the envelope on volume around Christmas.  We both ran into a flash-bound “Busy” warning indicating we’d better slow the heck down, but never hit a “Card Full” indicator on the new 4gig SD.  Most of those shots relied on the pre-programmed settings, not the creative ones.

For right now creative means slower.

After some practice I’m sure I’ll shoot as swiftly as I did with my first SLR.  I’m still frustrated the f-stop and speed information appear along the bottom of the screen and not the right-hand side.  This is the second camera that frustrates me in this regard.  I’ve still not overcome that vertical layout habit I nurtured with my Minolta from the early 80s.  It doesn’t help that the finer steps between each setting look so unfamiliar to me I can’t always figure out which is an aperture size and which is a shutter speed–I bet the book could help me.  Since creative means slower and a passel of kids means I need agility I’m sticking with the no-brainer side of the knob for now.

As a low-grade photo hobbyist paying for each frame twice drove me to be cautious with film.  Sadly, this caution did not inspire me to take better pictures by learning to think through a shot before making it, it taught me to just take less photos–to develop fewer.  With this digital I disregard frame counts and lighting.  I shoot from the hip as often as not and delete the bad ones as I go.

The freedom to capture images poorly and without thought, to rely on volume more than skill, I will employ as a luxury and not a crutch as much as I can.  Maybe I should tuck that thought away as I write?

Day 232