Saturday, June 28, 2008


I have a friend (yes!!! Even more friends!!!), I have a friend who regularly tells me that he can talk his way out of all sorts of trouble. This sentence usually appears somewhere near the end of a discussion where he has revealed that one or more of the women in his life have found out about one or more of the other women in his life.

Well, this post is my attempt to emulate his advice.

In my life, right now, there are two problems, both of which I need to talk my way out of.

I’ll call them problem A and problem B. You always knew I had an imaginative brain didn’t you!!
Both problems surfaced today.

Problem A is a result of my recent post some gorgeous wildlife photos

Problem B arose out of this post(Another Day), before I had even written it!!!

So here goes with the talking.

Problem A. You see, I made that post in good faith with the permission of Michael, the guy who takes the photos. I thought it was a good post, the photos were simply stunning and as soon as I hit the publish button the comments started to come in and, of course, with such spectacular photographs the comments were all positive.

So where’s the problem I hear you ask? Were they not Michael’s photos?

Yes, they are all genuine photos taken by Michael himself mostly in the early hours of the morning. That is not the problem.

The problem you see is much closer to home, my wife also knows Michael’s work. She was at the dinner on Thursday when we discussed the original post and Michael gave his permission to show his photos.

But, and here it is, she also knows some of the other photo’s Michael has taken over the past three years. The guy lives next door. He and Mary are regular visitors to our house. We often share in various activities, like attending the recent Gourmet market. Marché Gourmande.

And her favourite of all Michael’s photos wasn’t included. But it gets worse. She is convinced that Michael has sent me the photo in an email! I have searched and searched and searched again, but to no avail. The photo in question is of a fox. I shall ask Michael, in my best French, if he will let me have a copy to post and put it up as soon as I can. It is superb.

Whilst talking about Michael, I had an email from him as well today. He thanked me for posting the photos and said he was proud to see them here. Proud – to see them. Michael, it is not you but I that should be proud. And I am. I am proud to be allowed to show such superb photos. Thank you

In the email he explained that on the walk home from here on Thursday night he came across some glow worms. As he explained, glow worms are technically very difficult to photograph. I imagine they are. Regular readers will be aware of my own failed attempts to get photos for this blog!!

Any way, he included two shots of glow worms. I post them here for your comments. These things are tiny and incredibly difficult to photograph and I would like to thank Michael for trying. He finished his email saying he hoped to be better next time!!!

Hopefully now, I have talked my way out of problem A

Problem B

Is quite simple really,. Today is Saturday and regular readers will know that I go to Villereal Market more or less every Saturday morning to buy my fruit and vegetables.

I tend to buy most of what I need from a small general greengrocer who comes to market every week. He has a large varied selection of produce. He brings it in from other small growers near by, He grows some himself and he buys some at wholesale markets. By spreading his procurement like this he can guarantee a varied selection of produce throughout the year, and he comes to Villereal, with his great selection, 52 weeks a year.

Now, as I’m always saying, those regular readers amongst you know about my prowess with the digital camera. In the old days when cameras had film and you chose between black and white or colour and they got processed in completely different ways, I was a keen photographer. I have hundreds of excellent photos. I have albums of negatives all filed and indexed. But all that was before the digital revolution. I had a camera – it took still photos – end of story. I could change the lens but that meant physically taking off one lens and replacing it with another. My camera weighed about 2 lbs (1Kg) and I had a small rucksack to carry all the other equipment in. I also had a telephone and a fax machine and a record player and even a mobile phone.. although this was very new technology and didn’t work everywhere.

Now I have a computer, and I put on a pair of headphones and pretend it’s a telephone.
Now I have a computer with a scanner and printer and pretend it’s a fax machine.
Now I have a computer and I put on a cd and pretend it’s a record player.
Now I have a mobile telephone but it pretends it’s a camera.
And now I have things like sat nav and satellite tv which we hadn’t even dreamed about back then!

Now, where was I?? Oh, yes, the camera. When I was going to use my old camera, I would check it before I left home, film, batteries, clean the lens that sort of thing.

And then, when I wanted a picture, I would look through the viewfinder, see what I wanted, frame it and then press a button.

There would be a loud clanking noise as a set of blinds moved across the camera, as a prism was bounced out of the way and then everything returned to normal, as it was before. It took about 1/500th second to take a photo and after 1/500th second you could move on to your next shot. .My view in the viewfinder would go black for a fraction of a second but then it would return.

Now I have a digital camera. I check it before I leave home, SD card, batteries, clean the lens, that sort of thing.

And then when I want to take a picture there isn’t a view finder so I have to look at a miniature television screen, except it bright bright sunlight and no amount of looking makes any difference to the nothing that I can see. When I imagine I finally have the photo framed I press a button 1/500th of a second later the camera says “What, oh you want me to take a photo”. I move on photo completed,. The camera says “ Oh ok if you insist I’ll take it in a moment”. By now I’m putting my camera in the bag and the camera finally says “OK, I’ve got a lovely photo of the inside of this bag”, or “of the space where that man was standing before he walked away” or “of the ground you pointed the camera at after you thought I’d already taken the picture”.

And, I do believe that is, and has been, the crux of my problem. Digital cameras are much much slower than I ever realised.

I admit I only realised this today!

So, back to problem B, I took some photos at my usual green grocers stall. I then asked Laurent to pose so I could include one of him. He asked me about the blog and I told him, I gave him the address. His wife asked me about the blog. I gave her the address, I even explained that the blog was in English as they are both French.

And then I bought my fruit and veg and went home.

I plugged my SD card into my laptop and looked in horror at the usual batch of totally unusable dross that I manage to capture.

There was a lovely photo of the apricots, which were stunning. Except the photo shows the apricots just disappearing out of frame.

There was another general photo of a range of greengrocery, except the photo shows no greengrocery and a few empty boxes.

An then there was the photo of Laurent. Now this photo IS published here, so you get a feel for what I’m talking about. Laurent is the guy in the blue shirt! Just out of frame!!! I took the photo and put the camera away. It then got around to taking the photo I had requested!

However, this photo is important. It is the one that MIGHT have taught me how to take digital photos. This blog will be the proof.

And Laurent, if you are reading this, then I really am sorry, I will take another photo next week and give you a spot all on your own.


Kate said...

Ian, you need a new,faster camera.

Digital cameras are good. Get one that works faster!

Maggie said...

I have a small digital camera, I take heaps of photos of the same subject. Without my glasses, most of the time in bright light, I can hardly see what I am taking.
It is always a great surprise to get home, switch on the computer and see what is there(sometimes not what I wanted).
My recent photos on our blog taken at the Adelaide Himeji Garden (June 24th)are pretty good I think.
Not bad for a, point the camera in that direction, and yes press the button without moving and then wait a bit and then take 3 more, kind of photographer!!!
ps I like your link to other blogs at the bottom of the page.
Easy to see who has added a new post without having to go to that blog.

chaiselongue said...

Yes, Ian, this is a problem with digital cameras. They do take time to focus and decide to take the picture. I don't know how your friend Michael manages to take his wildlife photos as anything unpredictable, like wildlife, is the most difficult. I was trying to take pictures of butterflies today, but the camera refuses to take them when I press the button, it waits till the butterfly has flown! Keep trying though, it's worth it and I like your market pictures, again.

Ian said...

Hi all, Thanks for all the help.

I have a birthday coming up and am hoping to get a new camera then. For this month, I shall have to struggle on. Thanks for the support Maggie, I'll try the take three or four concept!!