It's not about the house.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I Am De-Dumbo

I simply cannot figure out how to use this camera.

I tried to take pictures of the ornaments as they went on the tree, but they came out too dark.

Or all pinkish.

Or fuzzy.

I did (you might want to sit down before I finish this sentence) read the owner's manual. The owner's manual told me how to change the settings on things like “exposure” and “white balance,” but it didn’t so much explain what these things were, and/or what settings might be optimal for, say, taking pictures of Christmas ornaments at night in a room lit by 900 tiny white bulbs and a few of those stupid so-called energy-conserving, world-saving fluorescents.

(Which, by the way, are going in the trash when they burn out, mercury or no, and I’m never buying another one of the damn things again. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, either, I’m just stupid enough to admit it. So I’ll be seeing the rest of you, whoever you are, in the whole new circle of hell being reserved for those of us who Don’t Do Enough For The Environment. Where, I imagine, it will be Globally Warm.)

By fiddling around with high and sharp and +3 and whatever, I did manage to squeeze off a picture or two that looked right. Which is good, because when you’re in nursery school and you deliberately leave a big chunk of empty space between the gingerbread man’s neck and arm for fear of chopping off the poor paper cookie’s head, the last thing you want, thirty-five years later, is an off-color depiction of your slightly retarded motor skills.

But then, if you don’t pay attention to it for a minute and a half, the camera has a hissy fit and shuts its whole system down. Sheesh, if I wanted a wife

And when you, after much coaxing and stroking and cooing and maybe a doghouse rose or two, manage to turn it on again, it acts like it doesn’t remember who you are. All its settings have defaulted back to “auto” and all your pictures once again come out like ass.

Man. I sure hope I didn’t get caught taking that one!

So here’s a picture of my finished tree.*

It’s the best I’ve managed to do. Trust me that it’s prettier in person than I’ve managed to present it here. If we’re all still doing this when next Christmas rolls around, I’ll give you a better tour of the rest of my retarded ornaments, I promise. If, that is, I’ve by then somehow figured out what to do with the device that takes the pictures.

Or else just broken it and got a new one.

*I couldn’t find the snippers to cut that top branch down a bit, so it wouldn’t look quite so much like the Angel was doing all she could to disassociate herself from what had been so ceremoniously stuck up her ass. Johnny was supposed to find the snippers for me last night. Needless to say, he didn’t even look. I won’t bore you with the daily updates of my not-getting-the-snippers, but I will tell you when it happens. I recommend that you not hold your breath.


su said...

Or if by next year you have destruck-do'd the ornaments

Benzo Jones said...

Got Bad news for you.... those bulbs will never burn out.

Vive La Gore!!!!

Muskego Jeff said...

Your pictures may still not be the best, but they're a hell of a lot better than the ones with your old (broken) camera.

Mine is kinda finicky about lighting conditions and always wants to use the flash when lighting is marginal. If I force it to not use the flash, it takes a slightly longer exposure picture to make up for the lack of flash. This means the pictures will be a little fuzzy if I am not perfectly still.

Depending on what settings yours has you may be able to force it to make adjustments for low light (taking a picture of the tree's lights), but my guess is that if it's an inexpensive camera you probably aren't going to get a good low-light picture.

And I'm with you on the compact fluorescent bulbs. I really hate the cheap ones the most. In my half-bath, there is a 1 second delay before the bulbs kick on once you flip the switch. They're getting replaced when I finally remember to buy new bulbs.

EGE said...

Yeah, mine always wants to use the flash as well. But if I DO use it, the pictures all come out the same seizure-inducing sea of blinding white fuzz.

Maybe it's just me. The other one may have taken assy pictures, but at least all I had to do was point and click. And we all know I can at least do

Charlie said...

I see you are getting a new roll of toilet paper for Christmas...Santa and Johnny must know what you really like.

Anandi said...

I know it's not nice to laugh at other people, but this post cracked me up. I'm sorry about your camera. And the angel with the tree up her ass. Really, I am.

EGE said...

Welcome, Anandi! And don't worry, I won't tell your mother that you laughed.

jm_houseinprogress said...

EGE, what camera do you have now? I'm not brilliant about taking low light pictures either, but maybe I can share some "oh seriously, is THIS all I had to do? Good lord" tips from when I sat inside all evening once and fiddled and fiddled and fiddled.

Plus, this post is good for a non-technical primer on beginning low light shots:

jm_houseinprogress said...

Aw FRICK! I hate it when URLs are so long.

It's from It's an article from a few days ago about low light photography...the non-technical explanation.