Canon 450D; Canon 50mm 1.8; ISO 100; f11; 2.5 sec
I do not like to own something that I cannot use correctly. It is a waste of my time, and a clients time, if I cannot use my equipment with dexterity and competence. I can, for the most part, produce very good quality photographs with a camera that is now 4 years old (an antique in the SLR pantheon) and a boat load of lens that are middle of the road in quality and price. Keeping always in mind that it isn’t the camera that takes the picture, it is the humanoid behind the lens. I know my camera well. I shoot only in Manual and only in RAW. I don’t say that with any hint of snootiness believe me. I do that because I like to have total control over what I am doing with my equipment.
Obsessive? Whose obsessive?
Control freak? Whose a control freak? Certainly not me.
But there has been one piece of equipment in my camera bag that has stymied me. It has caflomoxed me. It has given me heartburn and embarrassment in front of family and friends.
It is my remote control shutter.
I mean seriously folks. This thing is tiny and has a limited number of buttons. It comes in a small box that doesn’t have a lick of English printed on it, except for the little sticker that tells me that it was, naturally, make in China. The directions are printed on a piece of paper that is the size of a 3x5 card and include the directions in English, Chinese AND Japanese. And yet, every time I brought it out to use it, more than likely when we were taking group family photographs, at a time when I am nervous about the fact that I claim the mantle of “photographer” when my father is in the group (the original family photographer) as well as TSiL (who is also a photographer), I cannot seem to make it function.
Set up the shot…..calm the family down……get in place……point the remote at the camera……push the appropriate button…….nothing, nada, zero, zilch.
And that perhaps might have been because I had not REALLY taken the time to read that little section in the camera manual. I had skimmed it. Oh I know my manual, that is the first thing that you should always do when you receive a new camera or camera body, read and study the manual. Evidently I had skipped over that part.
Today was the day that I set myself the task to master the thing. I have opposable thumbs and an at least average intelligence for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary! I can do this thing. And I think I have. The light level in the kitchen was very low on purpose, with just a hint of weak sunshine coming in from the right. The shutter tripped with the remoter control.
I am happy.