Trying to Teach a (sick) Old Dog New Tricks


I have man flu. Apparently I’m making enough grunts and groans every time I move even so much as half an inch that the world is sick of me (and apparently I’ve reverted to imperial measurements since moving to the UK). By “the world” I mean the girl who is stuck at home with me. Oh and the cats. Well, maybe the guy at the corner shop I go to each morning for a Freddo Frog too.

But in my opinion I’ve been unjustly labeled. My symptoms include a cough that sounds something like I’m ejecting a demon spirit, ears that ache like they did when I was pulling some G forces on the Mission Space ride at Disneyworld and of course a nose which alternates between waterfall and dam depending on my angle of recline-age. I also have that damn tickle you get in your throat that makes you choke and cry tears of pathetic-ness because it invariably hits when you’re in public and making it worse by fruitlessly trying to stop it. Plus a strange addition last night was an over production of saliva that made my pillow look like a rabid dog had laid down to rest on it.

So boo hoo for sicky sicky bum bum me, right?

All of this is not helping the fact that this week I’m attending an evening photography course. Normally my brain only functions for a few hours a day, usually around 9am till lunch, 1pm-ish if I’ve had a good sleep. After that it’s a waste of time ever trying to have an intelligent conversation with me. So with my course being 6.30pm till 9pm (normally a prefect length for my attention span) each night, added to the fact that my head is already full of mucus, there’s not much room for new information.

The course is a beginners one, covering the absolute basics, but that still involves wrapping my head around things like f-stops (the most infuriatingly backwards system that’s ever existed – something to do with Pi he said???), apertures, shutter speeds, angles of view, pinhole cameras, sensors, focal length, exposure triangles. Oi vey! I’ve been getting along fine just winging it till now. Maybe I should have factored in my age and number of depleted brain cells before I made the crazy decision to quit my job and start a photography business.

I’m exaggerating slightly, but it is curious to realise that the brain is just not what it used to be. I’m sure it will all slot into the correct files in my head eventually, I’ll just need it explained about ten times more than a youngun. Or someone my age who didn’t obliterate their capacity to learn in their 20’s through copious amounts of Jack Daniels. And vodka. And Long Island Iced Teas. And beer. 

Yesterday we had homework. In what I’m sure is the kind of assignment every photography student in the world is set (kind of like how everyone in primary school at one stage or another is going to have to make a papier-mache head out of newspaper) we had to find the letters of the alphabet in objects we pass every day. I think I was too abstract in my interpretation (these are just replicas taken with my phone by the way, since I don’t have the right software yet and I couldn’t be bothered dealing with the pain in the arse my RAW files create on my inadequate PC for the purposes of this blog post – sorry, a thousand apologies).

This is an X…

photo (10)

This is a P (the toothbrush)… or a W…

photo (11)

This is an S… and an O if you like, a SO…

photo (9)

And this is a C… well not really, it’s just an excuse to stick a pic of the kitten in…

photo (8)

So there you go, I’ve just progressed through photography primary school. For the rest of the week, we’re mostly in the street taking shots apparently. And since the night temperatures are hovering around zero in London right now, you know what that will mean – break out the earplugs people, more man flu noises are a-coming!

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