It’s been a rough week. For a number of years I had been helping someone with a problem they have.
Well, I thought I was helping.
I found out early last week that I wasn’t helping at all. In fact, my help was being viewed as, “Look at me! I know better than you do. You should listen to me because I’m so wonderful and you’re just an old stinky sock.” That is most certainly not how I meant my help to come across. I was crushed. I’ve been finding corners to curl up in and cry all week long. My poor, sore nose.
Then, a few days later when I was in a quiet mood, another friend made a passing inference that I was moping because I wasn’t in control and getting my own way. What? Really? Is that how people view me? That I mope around when I don’t get my own way? Or worse—is that how I am? Do I mope when I don’t get my own way? Surely not. And the thing is that I wasn’t thinking about “my own way” in the slightest bit at the time. I was crushed.
It took me until today to find the right word for what I’m feeling. It’s defeated. I haven’t even brushed my hair at all today and you know I’m just vain enough that not brushing my hair is a sure indication of defeat. But—please—don’t point out my vanity to me because that’ll tip me from defeated into despondent. If you have a burning need to point out something about my flawed character, please wait until October when I’ve had time to recover. October of 2033.
Eh. I can still write The Blog. You don’t think that every day last year when I wrote The Blog I was in a good mood, do you? No way! There were many days when I had spent the entire day staring pathetically out of windows and feeling sorry for myself, but I still managed to have a little fun with The Blog in the evening.
So, here goes. Let’s talk about the last 3 Photo Club meetings.
Three Photo Clubs ago, I suggested we do some more light painting. We’ve done it in the past, but our newest Photo Club member, Hannah, wasn’t in the group at that time, so it was time to play with it again.
Here was an early attempt:
Pretty pathetic, huh?
I kept trying different things, hoping to get some depth to my light. Here’s a passable attempt at depth.
To take these pictures you need a completely dark room, somewhere to set your camera so it’s still (a tripod or table or something), flashlights, and a long exposure—maybe 15-30 seconds.
When you press the shutter release the camera will start taking the picture—and keep taking it for 15-30 seconds—however long you set it for. Dash in front of the camera, turn on your flashlight, point it at the camera and squiggle it around. After 15-30 seconds, the camera will stop taking the picture and all of your squiggles will be recorded onto one image.
It’s harder than it sounds. I wasn’t happy with any of my pictures of squiggly depth, so I made some stick figures:
By the time we were done, all of us in the room were sweaty and exhausted. At the end of the day, this is a good representation of how we all looked:
It’s also a good example of how I felt when I was told I think I’m better than everyone, that I’m controlling, and that I’m mopey when I don’t get my way. Oh blah. Feeling defeated again. Let’s move on.
The next Photo Club was when the Chinese exchange students were visiting. There would only be 3 Photo Club members at that meeting so I brought the students to Photo Club with me. I suggested that we teach them how to frame pictures. No one else at Photo Club was very keen on the idea, but (since I’m controlling, you know) I went ahead with my idea. Hey—if someone else had a better idea, I’d have gone with it. (Or maybe I’d have moped. I really don’t know anymore.)
The language barrier wasn’t that big of a problem being that a picture is worth 1000 words. I showed John how to take a good picture of his friends. First a bad picture:
Far is bad.
Then a good picture:
Close is good.
See? 6 words, 2 pictures, and the point is made. We also practiced taking food pictures. Here’s a picture of Scott helping Elton with a food picture:
But the most recent Photo Club was the most fun. Over the summer, we’ve been trying to come up with little projects to work on at Photo Club. Since I’m controlling and always want my own way, I suggested that we take fruit pictures. Fruit is pretty and it’s cheapest during the summer. I had a vague idea of scattering blueberries on a table and taking close ups of them.
A day or two before our Fruit Day, I had another vague idea of making a little person out of raisins and having him climb a mountain of strawberries. But when I made my raisin person he looked like a malformed ant.
At photoclub I tried re-making a person out of grapes and blueberries. It worked! He was so handsome and the food was so pretty that I was inspired to take a series of pictures of Chester, the Grape Man.
What I did On my Summer Vacation
By Chester Grapeman
On my summer vacation, I did many things. First, I went to Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. It was so cold in the snow that my face turned blue!
Next I went white water rafting on the Futaleufu River in Chile. I fell in the water and almost drowned. My head turned blue from lack of oxygen!
After that, we went to the state fair where we saw the World’s Largest Watermelon. It was bigger than me! I ate too much, though, and felt a little sick. I got a little blue about the gills.
Then, there was a family reunion. My cousins and I played a bit of football. We didn’t wear helmets and I got all bruised up. My head turned black and blue. But I got a touchdown!
The last thing I did was head to Hollywood and see the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I must have set the white balance wrong in my camera. I look really blue in this picture, don’t I? Huh.
Yes, I was lying in the dirt and gravel, with big ants crawling around, sweating, to take these pictures. But it was worth it. Chester was so appreciative.