There are very few things in this world from which I demand perfection. The first was, and has always been, markers and crayons. When I was a kid, my parents got me a set of 60 professional art markers and blank computer paper. I remember being so excited that I had this rainbow of inky goodness that I spent a good half hour sitting around wondering what to draw first. In the end, I decided to save them for special occasions - namely, letters to Grandma and notebook designs. I also decided that the best way to use this veritable artistic toolbox would be to bring it to school, show them off, and proceed to horde it. And horde it, I did. I never trusted the other kids with my markers. I would watch them furiously scribble out designs with their fat hands clamped over their fat Crayolas. The beautiful tips that once graced the markers would soon be scraped away down to flattened nubs of things. The horror continued after the markers were jambed back into the box - IN THE WRONG ORDER. I would sit there thinking, "That's not where the red goes! ROY G BIV man! ROY G BIV!!" I would watch the marker boxes get shoved into desks, the poor cardboard shredded and wounded. Inevitably, the kids would ask to borrow my markers, and I would clutch them to my chest and answer with such a defiant "no" that the grubby fat hands would retreat back to their desks to console themselves in peeling dried glue off each other.
I feel that I'm getting much the same with my camera. I operate with a little Cannon Powershot - not that high up on the camera pyramid, but usable and portable nonetheless. It's not that I horde the Cannon like I did the markers. I'm perfectly fine with friends, family and coworkers using it on occasion. My beef comes with the actual photos. The usual reason why I've lent out my camera is so that I can finally have a photo of myself for a change - those times when I want photographic evidence of my experiences. And, were it not for some brief lendings on my honeymoon, it would be impossible for me to prove that I ever went to Alaska. But even though I now have pictures of me in head-to-toe sea kayaking gear, I'm missing the top portion of my head. In other photos I'm blurry. The one picture I have of my husband and I on a train has "Caution: Watch Head" printed on the metal right next to us (Okay, that one was a little funny; but you get my point.).
I believe it is up to us, the general public, to educate ourselves on basic and slightly advanced photography techniques - just as it is parents' and teachers' duty to teach their kids proper marker care. It really would make the world a better place, as we would all be more willing to share our art supplies.
*If you really would like to see some brilliant photography, I suggest stopping by Focus My World. Michele's photos are filled with vibrant colors, some very creative angles, and perfect examples of how light in the right spot can really bring out a subject.