A Lot to Learn

Ireland 1 036


Elizabeth Willis Barrett

I wrote in my thechristmasexperiment.com blog about my four-year-old granddaughter, Bella, wanting to know how to play the piano after one lesson.  It reminded me of the time in Ireland when I wanted to do the same with photography.  We had taken a trip to China the year before with Gilbert’s Sister City program and two of the men in our group were very good at photography.  They each had a much nicer camera than I had and I figured that I was missing out because my camera was a point and shoot.  So before we went to Ireland, again with the Sister Cities program, I insisted on buying a Canon Rebel.  It was a lot of money for me to spend on a camera especially when we were also paying for the trip, but since I’m in charge of the minutiae of our family finances, I bought it anyway. Now my pictures were going to be phenomenal, too!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time before the trip to practice with the camera and my reading up on its functions during the long plane ride to Belfast didn’t help much.  At least I knew enough to choose the auto setting and I took pictures of everything: doors, castles, cathedrals, grass, water, children.

At one of our stops I saw a member of our entourage taking pictures with an over the top camera.  “Ah,” I thought.  “He can teach me everything I need to know in a few minutes and my pictures will turn out better than what I’m seeing on the view finder review.”

So I took my camera to him and asked him to teach me.  I can still see the quizzical look on his  face and as I think back I realize what an idiot I was.  He might as well come up to me sometime while I’m playing the piano solo “Charge of the Uhlans” and ask in a hopeful voice, “Do you have a minute to teach me how to play the piano?”

Playing the piano takes many years of learning and practicing.  So does photography.  I wanted to know something without paying the price.

That happens often to all of us, I suppose.  Whether we want to learn the piano or photography or how to post a blog or how to be a good friend or grandparent or even how to be a sober individual, it takes learning and practicing and we have to be willing to pay the price.

One  of the things I want to be is a good photographer.  I have a lot to learn, but I’ve taken some classes, bought some great books and hopefully, some of you out there won’t mind me asking a few questions.  I’ll keep them simple.


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