Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Used To Take A Lot of Pictures

I used to take pictures. Back in the day when we used film and had to wait a week for a roll to be developed.

I started out with in junior high with an Instamatic camera. My grandfather and my great uncle were great photographers.

Then I graduated to a Canon SLR. Finally to a Nikon with a bunch of fancy lenses. In fact, my final quarter at Ohio State sealing up my journalism degree wasn't writing a ground breaking story, but taking pictures. The Lantern advisor gave me an A-. Not a common grade from him. He gave me a C when I was on the copy desk. (snort!)

Sidebar: The Lantern advisor used to collect bad headlines and cutlines to use in class. "Here's what NOT to do."

Well... Winter Quarter of '85 I was a copy editor on the paper. One night the Editor handed me a photo. "Write a cutline for this." He explained what was going on in the photo ending with, "Write Pope releases pigeons of peace or something like that..."

So, it was late. I was ready to go home. And I wrote, "Pope Releases Pigeons of Peace." End of story.

But two quarters later when I'm a photographer on the paper for the summer, our newspaper advisor popped that baby up on the slide saying, "Pope releases doves of peace, not pigeons."

It was hard not to laugh out loud. I leaned to my friend and whispered, "I wrote that!" Oh man, she nearly spewed.

We laughed a lot that summer.

AND, now this is really weird. Seven years later I go to Israel with a team of people from around the world. There was this zany and fun Australian woman who kept us all entertained. One day we were at the Wailing Wall and she said, "Look at the pigeons of peace."

I told my roommates my own pigeon story and tied it with Barbara's and we laughed so hard we couldn't breathe. I must say I felt justified about my cutline! I KNEW they were pigeons of peace!

End sidebar

Taking pictures was synonymous with writing. I wrote and snapped photos. But I have photo albums I never pull out. I go to my old diaries more.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped taking pictures. Maybe it's because I ceased to be photogenic. I had a picture of me on a shelf at one of my "pre married" apartments. A friend came over and said, "Who is that?" Emphasis on "who" and more emphasis on "that." I wasn't at all insulted he didn't recognize me. Or that he looked kind of like "Really?" when I told him it was me. Jaw dropping astonishment is always a compliment, right ladies?

Maybe I stopped taking pictures because I stopped putting the photos in albums. I traveled a lot in the first years of my corporate job. I took a lot of pictures. I have a lot of photos in albums. Even more in boxes. Please, no scrap booking recommendations. I've seen that chore. Ain't happening.

I have an iPhone. The "new" Instamatic. I can take pictures anytime. Hubby and I just had three series of house guests. I took not one picture. What's up with that? I thought I should snap one or two. But I never did.

I've made the case to my hubby that I need a new digital SLR. The kind that cost hundreds of dollars. But I'm starting to wonder if I can justify the cost. Anyone have a camera I can buy cheap just to see?

Maybe I don't take pictures any more because I don't like the quality of pictures I get on my "instamatic." Just point and shoot.

I like pictures. They say a thousand words. I love old pictures of my family. But I'm just out of the picture taking mode. I'm less sentimental than I used to be. Could that be part of the reason?

But writing... Oh, such a different story. That expression never left my fascination. It's changed. I don't keep private diaries any longer. I have a book for prayers, dreams, insight from Scripture, but not, "Dear Diary, today I went shopping and...."

I blog. That's what y'all get to read. (Ooo, shouts of joy!) But public blogging had it's limits. And aren't we glad? (snort!)

I used to take a lot of pictures. But now, I form the images in my heart with words. Inadequately. But pictures none the less.

What about you? Do you take pictures? Do you break out old photo albums? Talk to me...


Candace said...

I love to take pics!
And when I don't take pics, then I know I'm TOO busy.

Julie Jarnagin said...

When I worked for a small town newspaper, I wrote the stories and took the pictures and I was a terrible photographer (I still am). It takes me a while to process things. I'm a slow writer. I like to ponder and deliberate. I love plotting. Taking photos is all about capturing one moment as it happens - not my strong point. I definitely admire everyone who has a talent for it. I'll stick with words. :)

Sharon Hayes said...

I never took pictures, not that good @it, since your Dad took lots of pictures, good ones, I didn't take many & now I just don't think to do it. Sometime when some of you are here we need to get the old projector out & look at Dad's slides.