Monday, November 30, 2030
My two old guys, Cinnamon and Winston. Nov. 2020
C and W enjoying some pandemic down time….20 hrs. per day!
From French to Sourdough
Prior to the pandemic, I spent two years trying to re-learn French. It was a great hobby and I studied it every day. I even attended an evening class for adults once per week, watched a ton of YouTube videos, and worked with a few books. It was fun.
Then the pandemic arrived and I said to myself, “What for? When will you ever use French? You’re old. You may never even get to Canada to try it out in Quebec.” So I stopped studying French, got on the sourdough bandwagon, and had a great time making various kinds of sourdough breads and rolls.
Got some good results with the sourdough starter which is still hanging on to dear life in my fridge. I’ll refresh it today. I promise. But in truth, the bread phase ran its course and I needed something new to learn.
With a bridge type Lumix FZ80 digital camera stashed in my bedroom closet, it was time to figure out how to use it. Little did I know that learning photography terminology would be a lot like learning a new language. “Aperture,” “ISO,” “depth of field,” “focal length,” etc. I’m getting familiar with what most terms mean, but I haven’t mastered using them yet. Not by a long shot. I know I’ll never progress beyond very beginner stage, but I will say that learning about photography and practicing with a newly purchased, slightly used Fujifilm X-T30 mirrorless camera has developed into a very interesting and absorbing hobby.
Once again I’m on YouTube. There’s a ton of very useful information about photography there. Reddit also has several photography sub-groups I learn from, and I am mesmerized by the wonderfully talented photographers from around the world who post images on Flickr.
I’m also developing a new library of instructional and inspirational books:
The Beginner’s Photography Guide by Chris Gatcum
Digital Photography Complete Course by David Taylor, Tracy Hallett, Paul Lowe, Paul Sanders
How I Make Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz
The Street Photographer’s Manual by David Gibson
The Photographer’s Eye by John Szarkowski
Masters of Street Photography, Consultant Editor Rob Yarham
Mastering Street Photography by Brian Lloyd Duckett (He has excellent videos on YouTube. Great instructor.)
Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll
Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs of Places by Henry Carroll
Many more book purchases to be made, I’m sure.
I’m hooked. No direction or plan. Just hooked on learning and using. The learning is easier than the using, but I’m starting to understand and apply a few things.
Much of the summer and fall was spent taking photos of flowers, trees, and stuff around the house. Then I hung out downtown a few times to experiment a bit with street photography. That is FUN! I also hung out at dog parks so I could practice taking photos of things that move quickly.
Here are some examples of my efforts:
There is an import car repair place in town, and in their front area there are a bunch of old cars being overtaken with vegetation.
Took this shot while walking around the MU camps quad area
Looking up into some trees this past summer
Attempt to shoot early fall snow shower through window
Close-up of a coaster in my livingroom
A close up view of my margarita lime and ice
Here are some dog park shots:
Plus a pooch outside my vet’s place:
Caught a bit of a bicyclist by accident while attempting some street photography downtown
Another street shot. Titled: The Phone, the Purse, the Look
Taken from across the street, I thought this was interesting with pairs: two parking meters with two sets of diners. Titled: Double-parked
Came across a small group of anti-Nigerian government protesters.
Distracted fella at Halloween festivity, rural Missouri 2020
Now It’s Almost Winter
Instead of sourdough bread, I’ve experimented with making naan and English muffins. Easy and fun! Will be making more batches to freeze and enjoy with meals.
And as far as photography goes, I’ll continue to read books and watch YouTube instructional videos. I’ll practice with some indoor stuff, get outside when weather is 40 or above, maybe shoot some downtown night scenes from a warm car, and definitely suit up to go outside if we get some snow.
One thing is certain. Having a new hobby keeps me from obsessing about the political and pandemic chaos we are experiencing here in the U.S. Thank goodness for brilliant scientists worldwide who are creating viable vaccines and treatments. Thank goodness for all the essential workers in hospitals who risk their lives every day. And thank goodness Joe Biden will become our next president on January 20, 2021, joined by Kamala Harris, our first FEMALE vice-president.
Hobbies or no hobbies, 2021 will be better than 2020. I am finally feeling hope.