I had Folly out the other night. In general, I’m not a namer of things. Only one car I’ve ever had earned a name (The Heap), and never have I felt the urge to name my computers or other durable goods. My big, fancy camera, however, has a name. Folly. It’s a much bigger, fancier camera than I should be bothering with, and I still have issues with taking my photos through photoshop before I can post them (and usually photoshop resets the time and day info, so they don’t sort out right with the snaps from my little camera). Overall, labor per picture is about ten times the effort for my little fuji/iPhoto/gallery routine. In the online galleries, there are still many more shots taken with my little camera than with the monster. Granted, the results with Folly are better. Sometimes much better. On those occasions I pat myself on the back for having enough faith in my abilities to spring for the damn thing.
Not that it was a difficult decision at the time. I had borrowed my cousin John’s camera for a trip to Yellowstone. I took about 150 pictures and had a lot of fun. Being able to change lenses makes a huge difference over even a respectable zoom feature on a digicam. So I was looking over the results from the day’s excursion while having a few beers with John because that’s what we do, and I was really happy with the results. Really, really, happy. I’m squealing with delight like a schoolgirl, sipping suds, and occasionally sharing my success with John while he’s on his laptop pulgging away. Finally he says, “OK, here’s what I have for you,” and he lists off a camera, three lenses, and a few accessories. I thought of a couple more accessories and told him to make the purchase.
John likes to spend money on cool toys. At the time, his money/toy ratio was a little thin, so I think he had fun working on mine. I knew that I was making a poor decision, and if I waited and thought about it carefully reason would prevail and I’d chicken out. That’s the beauty of the Internet.
So anyway, that’s not what this episode was supposed to be about. I was goofing around with Folly, taking self-portraits. Amateur photographer, amateur model, extreme light conditions. It was a long night. In the process I discovered a camera setting that would have improved my pictures of Amy immeasurably. Next time I’m hanging around with her while she’s in her little nightie I’ll be ready. But that’s another digression. This episode is all about me.
I noticed something when looking back at previous self-portraits. First, the ones taken with Folly were way better (granted, I shot about 400 frames the other night and never got the perfect one), and second, I look different now. A lot of it is hair, of course. Is that the only difference? You be the judge. In fairness (and, um… vanity) I have posted the most flattering pics from each era.
Looking at the first and last pictures tells me I’ve covered more than just miles. Time has passed, obviously, months of not having my own bed, of quiet solitude punctuated with raucous good times with my friends and family. Months of wearing the same clothes, of living with only what fits in a suitcase. Months of restaurants and bars and of not showering as often as I would have liked. Months of worry, fatigue, peace, and inspiration.
Damn, I’ve got a good life.