flotsam, photography

There’s homework

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As I may have mentioned, I recently signed up for a photography course. This is something I noodle on from time to time. I love taking pictures – I especially love taking really good pictures. But truth be told, it is only by grace that I ever actually do take good pictures (or anything else good, for that matter) because, in point of fact, I know nothing about photography. No. Thing.

And yet I have heretofore taken some good pictures (again, by grace… coupled with the willingness to take hundreds of pictures in pursuit of 20 that are good enough to share). One of my girlfriends tells me I have “a good eye” (clearly she has not seen the other 868 pictures from any given trip) and if I do, then that’s a gift.

A gift? Really? For me? Wow, thanks!

This creates just the hint of an existential dilemma for me, though. Right now, if I take pictures and they’re good… well, all glory to God because there can be no doubt that it wasn’t something I did. But if I go get trained, and actually learn what I’m doing, will I start doing it in my own strength? Where’s the glory in that? And, you know, just to look at it practically: God can take a whole lot better picture than I can, no matter how “trained” I get.

And yet, and yet… it can’t really be wrong to want to hone a gift, right? If a person has a gift for healing, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t become a doctor, but rather that perhaps they should. Honestly, I want my doctor to have BOTH a gift from above AND full medical training. Who’s with me on this?

Anyway… the whole existential crisis was resolved by a very wise friend asking me very simply, “Would you enjoy studying this?” and me knowing the answer. AND by several other things aligning in such a way that it felt very much like I was being told that I was just being a big chicken.

So yeah. I signed up.

And promptly went into post-booking, pre-vacation mode. The one in which I downgrade whatever experience I’m planning. It won’t be that good. It won’t be that fun. I won’t get that much out of it. It’s going to be a waste of time and money.

And in this case, there is this underlying fear: I’m going to fail at this. I’m going to try really hard at it, and I’m going to fail.

Have I always been this negative? Really? It’s SO unattractive.

Well, scaredy cat or no, I’m giving it a go. Life is risky, and it’s healthy to take a risk now and then.

As of Friday, I have a student ID. Lookit me, I’m a student again!

As of Monday, I have a big box of Welcome gifts from the university. Tote bag and monopod and thumb drive, oh my!

As of Tuesday, I have my first lesson set.  It was waiting for me when I came home last night. But it was nearly 9 after a crap day (I hate when simple things go horribly and very visibly wrong), and I wasn’t in an adventurous frame of mind.  I opened it this morning, not so much because I was in a more adventurous phase but because I wasn’t quite running late enough for how much I didn’t want to go to work.

There’s a big package of materials I need to read through. There’s a binder for all my lessons. There’s an audio CD and 6 DVDs. There’s a booklet on the business of photography. There’s an envelope for sending in my assignments for grading.

There’s stuff. A lot of stuff.

Guess what? I’mahafta do homework tonight.


5 thoughts on “There’s homework”

  1. I’m with you on the doctor thing. Cough. Cough. Definitely. The photo stuff sounds cool. Listening to your description of the homework package you received, I can hear my old factory boss, Willy Papka, saying, “You vill take ze photos and you vill enjoy! We takes our breaks standing up around here!” Seriously, I hope you have fun with it. I’m still threatening to follow in your footsteps, you know.


  2. There’s nothing wrong with honing your craft, even if you already possess a natural talent. I’m glad you’re going for it – and think positively. You’ll get a lot out of this class!


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