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Making Due

July 17, 2009

Pity for my family is well-placed. I often become so obsessive about my photography that I mentally block out almost everything else. My poor family has been left sitting around waiting for me to take “just one more” so often that they now ban me from bringing my camera when our goal is together time.

Family is important to me so I don’t begrudge them this time. Still, my instincts sometimes begin to kick in when I find myself faced with highly photogenic opportunities and no camera in hand.

Such an opportunity presented itself last night. In order to get out of the house and see something other than our living room walls, I took my wife to the carnival. The church right across from the entrance to our neighborhood hosts one every summer and it just happens to be open this week.

Now, I had already gone to the carnival a few nights earlier and took some photos. (As seen above and yes, these were intentionally done in B&W as part of a personal project.) I was satisfied with what I got so had no problem offering to leave the camera behind for this trip. As soon as we pulled in, I began to sense that was a mistake. There was a huge banner announcing that they would be having fireworks at 9:45. They only have fireworks for one night of the carnival and this was it; the one night I was there with no camera.

In general, fireworks are fireworks. Lots of people love them. Photographically, I find then pretty ordinary. Once you’ve taken a few successful fireworks photos that you’re truly satisfied with, they all begin to look alike. But fireworks as seen over a carnival midway? Now that was something new and different. Something I would love to have. And here I was with no camera.

My wife dug around in her purse. She normally carries a very compact little pocket camera. It’s small but relatively full-featured. Alas, I had taken her camera out of her purse to use in one of my recent workshops and hadn’t put it back. (Shame on me!)

All I had available to me was my cell phone camera. Poor quality, poor resolution, very few settings, no zoom, terrible shutter lag. This would be a real challenge. The choice I was faced with was no pictures at all or crappy pictures from a very limited, low quality cell phone camera. I made due with what I had available and made the best of it.

The pictures I got back are not nearly what I would have liked to have taken had I been using a “real” camera. Here is the best of the bunch. These have been processed in Photoshop to make the best of what I had but they’re still not what I wish I had.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Doug Holveck permalink
    July 18, 2009 2:23 am

    I just wanted to let you know I really enjoy your blog , some of your posts make me think twice before taken a picture and help me try and be more creative.
    Doug Holveck (aka familymanstudios on flickr)

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