i’m a terrible photographer

Slice of Life

Slice of Life

When you are an international teacher, you notice many people around you have technical, unwieldy multiple lensed cameras–possibly underwater cameras. You think, “That’s hard-core. I’ll stick with  my iPhone camera. It’s easy.” Then it hits you, “I’m recording once-in-a-lifetime travels and I’m ending up with blurry, uninspired photos.”

You think, “Hmmm, maybe a Nikon CoolPix” and you realize you have to board the bus of comparison shopping again. Besides, Instagram effects are my friend. Right?  Yet, like Stacy and Clinton on “What Not to Wear” I really need to step into the 360 mirror and take a closer look at my “wardrobe” or gallery of pictures. Stop with the equivalent of “It’s comfortable” excuse.

For the next adventure, I need to research prices, book a taxi, hit the dreaded mall, and spend some cash on an essential tool. A good camera is an investment. Once again joining the ranks of the international teachers everywhere: world traveler, photographer and obnoxious social media album poster.

It’s not only the quality, it’s the timing. I’ve missed a majority of photo opportunities by 1 or 2 seconds. There’s a monitor lizard living in my neighborhood. I saw it strolling down the road on a Sunday morning walk. Just as I slid my iPhone open and clicked on the camera app, the lizard found its way across the bridge and back down into the water.

Whenever I’m riding in a taxi, I pass several unusual people or signs that lose their impact on retelling. Only the photo would carry their unforgettable quality. But my window is up and it’s a crank lever or my iPhone is in its canoe safe water-tight baggie tucked away in my backpack due to the rainy season.

I guess I can take comfort in the thought that these images are all in my memory, where they are clear and well-lit and frozen in time at the optimum timing and angle.

Here’s a gallery of image failures:


About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in life and culture, transitions and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to i’m a terrible photographer

  1. I wish I had a fabulous camera as well, but you put it right about how our memories capture the moments in the most optimum way possible. Thank you for sharing this perspective.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thank you for your note! I’m also aware that when people post pictures of far-flung vacations, it feels kind of distancing and exotic. When, at the same time, the people probably also had trouble finding a bathroom, were swatting away mosquitos, grew cranky on a bus . . . etc. Maybe I should take more pictures of those aspects of a trip. haha

  2. Have you ever thought about using the annotation tool in Flickr to make notes on your pictures. A personal note of explanation might turn a poor photo into, at least, one that conveyed information better? I like how your slice of life really is several slices of your life. Thanks.

    • jaclynfre says:

      Great idea!! I should use my Flickr account more often. I guess because it was linked to a long forgotten yahoo username and password I gave up on it. But yes, Flickr!! I love to search it for Creative Commons images. I appreciate your encouragement to resurrect the album and the annotations.

  3. P Walcott says:

    You are so right. The memories are better! However, here’s the link to a photo book I made of an adventure. The Nikon cool pix was in someone’s pocket most of the time without being in the way. You may also find it humorous that I have had to replace mine twice because I ruined it with sand or cracked the screen while it was in a case. Meanwhile Sheldon and Olivia haven’t damaged theirs…darn kids! The mitten people miss you!
    Darn the iPad if the link doesn’t work!!

    • jaclynfre says:

      Patti!! I miss you!! Your kids are phenoms!! I am glad to hear an endorsement of the Nikon CoolPix. I will go pick one up. Looking forward to checking out your album. With 4 or 5 photographers (not sure if your husband took some pix too), what a wonderful collaboration. Your Christmas cards / photos are always so clever. Thanks for responding!!

  4. tezzie828 says:

    I agree that a good camera is important. My husband keeps telling me that my iPhone camera should suffice, but it’s just not the same. The phone camera does it have its advantages though- it’s almost always on me. I’ve had way too many occasions when I wished I had my camera with me, but had left it at home.

  5. Betsy says:

    Memories are good, writing it down is good but there is something about a photo. Looking back at it, seeing something you didn’t see before. Photos can tell so many stories. Good luck with the shopping 🙂

  6. mayawoodall says:

    Somehow it seems that I never have the right camera for the moment, and I, too, struggle getting the iPhone out in time to capture the moment. Yet, the iPhone has captured hot air balloons and rainbows when the Nikon was stashed in a closet at home. Interesting piece.

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