Harmony County

2011 & 2009 Winner of "Best Humor Column" awarded by the SC Press Association

Blind squirrels vs. technology

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In a time long ago, in a country far away (Alabama) I was considered fair to partly cloudy when it came to photography. In the course of working for a local newspaper, I had managed to pick up a few awards for sports photography, mostly baseball.

Before you accuse me of throwing too many roses at myself, it can be argued that these awards were obtained in accordance with the law of nature that states, “Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn”.

I had a camera that I had won in a poker game with a helicopter pilot a few years before. It is a Canon FT-QL. It had a great reputation as a press camera and it was truthfully said that, “You could throw it against a wall, pick it up and take a picture of the hole”.

The thing is quite heavy which is a plus as far as steadying the image, but when the shutter closes, it sounds like the gates of Hell slamming shut. This is a drawback when it comes to nature photography. Even if you are taking photos of wild flowers, they are likely to scamper off after the first shot.

It was fairly simple to operate. You set the film speed with a knob on the top with numbers on it that corresponded to the numbers on the film package. Set and forget. You set the lenses opening according to the light in which you were shooting. You set the shutter speed according to your need to stop action, and you focused by turning the ring on the lens. To check it all you depressed the shutter halfway and a needle would tell you if you were on or off.

Easy peasy, Pulitzer Prize here I come. With a half-hour of practice, a first-timer could get a decent pix. This allows the photographer to concentrate on what I consider to be most important, the subject.

Those days are gone. With bitter regret, I came into 21st Century photography, broke down, and bought a digital camera. I couldn’t find a helicopter pilot.

I have always been a fan of wildlife photography. Obviously, I needed to learn about digital photography so I combined the two and got a subscription to a magazine that caters to outdoor photographers.

Allow me to quote one of the lines in an article in the magazine, “If your DSLR uses a smaller APS-C or Four-Thirds sensor you have to use the 35mm-equivalent focal length in the equation…” Either that sentence was written in geek-speak or the author’s cat walked across the keyboard.

This is where technology takes all the life out of what I believe is a great hobby. I can show you how to get close to a deer or where to see an eagle. Both sights are thrilling and will get a sincere “WOW!” out of a person who gets separation anxiety on being 100’ away from concrete.

Now, the technocrats may have ruined a good thing.© 2011, Harmony County

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Written by harmonycounty

July 14, 2011 at 4:42 p07

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