Can an old dog really learn new tricks?

Okay so this isn’t about an old dog, it’s about me and my aversion (not really an aversion to learning, just difficulty adapting easily) to change.  I’ve not adjusted to FaceBook’s Time Line yet and don’t like the new format, then along comes the new and improved web hosting site that I am using.  I couldn’t watch the informative webinar because my MacPro is only 10.4.11 and not the required 10.5.  So much for trying to follow along with a Q&A at the end.

PhotoShelter has upgraded their site with plenty of bells and whistles and my first hiccup came because they don’t support the browser that I normally use so I had to open up Safari (not a big issue but I couldn’t do what the helpful Ruby suggested until she asked me that simple question).  PhotoShelter has a host of video tutorials and looks like I will be perusing them all so I can learn how to navigate through their changes.  Jene has spent a week uploading images to his site and utilizing the “BUY” options, so it was about time I forge ahead.

I balk a lot at first, kicking and screaming until the new becomes second nature.  It’s not that I am totally adverse to change, but I was skipping along, singing the song, being very content with my website when they pulled the plug on it and handed me a pile of new arrangements to learn.  YIKES!!!!  I can’t keep up with technology the way my husband does.  He is beta testing PhotoShop 6 and I still don’t do much more than remove dirt spots or minor retouching in PS 4 on my images.  I don’t work in masks/layers, I don’t adjust levels or play with anything because I wind up screwing up my images.  He enhances his images and works magic on some of them.  Of course Jene has told me time and time again to take a class at ICP, that’s where he learned.  But he follows up that statement with some of the teachers are good and some aren’t as good.  I have trouble plunking down the $$$$ on basic classes, that I may not always manage to attend due to unforeseen circumstances (like life!).  10 weeks of 1 day classes is hard for me to commit to.  I never know when I will be summoned by my daughter’s cry for help with the kids.   Heck, I could never watch a TV series for that reason.  Some people would plan their lives around their “shows”.   I seem to have to cancel plans when they are more than a day or two out.  And I would need additional courses on masks/layers as well as retouching.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Learning new things and how utterly frustrated I am by the very thought and yet so friggin determined to do it.  Although I have to say that because of my lack of post-editing know-how, my photography skills have been honed.  I need to be spot on and don’t really rely on technology to make an image into something totally different.  I’m not criticizing an artist with both sets of skills and there is magic that happens to be sure.  I just don’t happen to have the where-with-all to make it happen.

Tonight I am going to attempt some simple photo technics of shooting the same scenario with different exposures / movement/ shutter speeds in order for Jene to (hopefully patiently) show me how to work in layers to get the desired effect.  This is spurred on my wanting to create a story.  Behind closed doors…

This image, I shot last night.  Right out of the camera, utilizing the light that seeped through the slightly ajar door.  Simple and straight forward.

A film noir quality and I feel that the picture stands on it’s own.

I don’t want it to start and end here… I want to create what my mind is capable of envisioning and that’s where technical skill comes into play.  In years gone by, masters would create image effects with double exposures, bracketing, etc. and then magic in the dark room (a place I’ve never entered), with various techniques, chemicals,  dodging and burning – basically the same stuff that skilled artists do in digital post editing.  The process is not new, just the tools.  It seems the biggest obstacle is the way my brain functions (or more appropriately the way it doesn’t).   Jene can read the most complex instructions and his brain processes the information and retains it.  I can read the same instructions and the words start to jumble as if in a foreign language.  I am not stupid by any means, but…there are definitely some neurons that aren’t firing properly.  I was hoping the mere fact that I sleep closely to my man, I would learn by osmosis.  But no dice.

I’d be lost without him or maybe just on a different path but I am glad to have him in my life.  I’ve learned a lot from him and yes, even a lot on my own, but it doesn’t stop there.  There is always something new to learn and I just have to get into the right mind set.  Resign myself to the fact that this is the 21st Century and I need to play catch up.  We’re even planning on upgrading our simple flip phones for smart phones and I may even start texting and doing the things my grand daughters are adapt at.  🙂

Live and learn… it keeps your brain working…

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