Posted July 24, 2013 03:54 pm

My love-hate relationship with photography

rainbow, double rainbow, juneau, alaska
double rainbow in Juneau
A double rainbow spotted from the Empire's newsroom balcony Tuesday evening.

I want to clone Michael Penn and make the clone work nights and weekends so I'm never pressed to take a photo again. When Michael's not available, I often find myself toting a DSLR camera to events and hoping I'll get lucky, that I'll have the right shutter speed, the right f-stop, the right white balance — if it sounds like I know what I'm doing, I've fooled you. Fancy cameras with all those different settings continue to befuddle me. I should probably take a proper photography class instead of this fake it 'til you make it style of taking as many photos as time and an SD card will allow. If I take 300 photos, hopefully 3 will be print-worthy!

But, every now and then, I get really lucky. Sometimes the lighting is just right, the stars or rain and shine align and I find myself with a beautiful shot. Such is the case with the double rainbow I spotted while walking to our page designer's desk yesterday to complain about a story coming in late for deadline.

"Double rainbow!" I shouted, "I'm going to Instagram this!"

That's right, I used my iPhone to take that photo, not with Instagram, actually, but with an app called ProCamera. Even that app sometimes gives me trouble, how do I zoom? I don't know. Hopefully I don't need a class for that. I'll figure it out today because I'm not a luddite and it's embarrassing that I don't know how to do that yet. 

I have much better luck taking photos with my iPhone because I can see and make adjustments right there on screen, it's always there, almost always charged, and it's kind of like an extension of my person at this point. Whenever I have a DSLR in my hands, I'm not being humble when I tell people we'll be lucky if any of the photos turn out, I really don't know. On a sunny day at Food Truck Friday, most of my photos were washed out. In Centennial Hall for an important event, everything is too dark, too light, a weird color, grainy because the ISO was set too high. It stresses me out to be in charge of capturing an important moment. 

Since it is sort of unlikely that I'll actually end up in a photography class any time soon, I'll be open to advice. Have you tried your hand at photography? What are your best tips or tricks? Otherwise, I'll just hope for more good luck.



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