Posts Tagged ‘trick or treating’

Keep At It

1 November 2011

Dear J-

This is Halloween: laughter and a group of kids trooping up together to the doors and screaming out trick or treat with huge abandon. Repeat and rinse. All the exclaiming over costumes never got old, nor the proud crowing over some particular treats shared amongst friends. We were out for maybe an hour and a half and I spent the entire time with camera in hand and ended up with something like 500 shots, most of which were unusable because of blur or poor focus (I need to be less afraid of manual focus) but not so much blur. I wonder sometimes if investing in a 35/2 wouldn’t be a bad ideaas that would let me replace the huge, heavy zoom with a relatively light mild telephoto (on 4/3rds) instead.

In the cold light of morning though I wonder and worry about the photographs too much perhaps: did I try to sneak too many shots? Was I guilty of making the pictures too dark? Should I have set my white balance better instead of relying on imperfect memories? Noise and grain? I remind myself that it was more about the kids last night and capturing the spirit of the evening but then the paranoia starts to set in and I wonder if I should have spent more time showing how much the parents might have enjoyed it, or what they might say if they were more honest about the whole thing: maybe you should have … or why didn’t you …

In my mind I keep going over what I could have done and try to incorporate for next year: maybe if I prefocus and catch action at its peak rather than rely on the questionable ability to autofocus in dim light, but then I wonder about what I might be able to do if only I had such-and-such piece of equipment but honestly I don’t think there’s much more. It was honestly all I could do to manage one prime lens all evening: throw a zoom into that and I’d be all over the place with composition. I am glad I left the big lens at home — wouldn’t have been able to use it — and the year of shooting with the prime on the other camera has trained my eye pretty well at prime composition, at least with this focal length. We’ll get it next year, and I’m sure I’ll find something else to improve upon, but that’s why you keep shooting.



All Hallows

31 October 2011

Dear J-

Well, this is it: the last day of October and of course the night to go trick-or-treating. I woke up late this morning, whether because of oversnoozing or overexertion yesterday with the little saws and punches that are the pumpkin carver’s tools. I’m starting to realize just how little physical activity I actually get in the course of a typical day, and it’s fairly sobering; at least by driving today, I reason, I’ll get home a litle earlier and we’ll be able to prepare for tonight a little better, right? It’s a curious mix of trepidation and anticipation I have tonight as our plans are to meet up and go to a strange enighborhood so that figgy can go trick-or-treating with some of her classmates.

By now we’ve all been to enough birthday parties and activities to be able to gauge how the kids will be and how they’ll react tonight; I have some questions about how Calcifer will take the later-than-usual night but I think about how our social life has in short order come to revolve around this core group of friends. For me it feels like a constant balancing act: is my natural tendency towards taciturn shyness offset by the excuse I have hiding behind a camera? Should I instead be making more of an effort to speak or is that the role I’m in now? Is there that much that we should know about each other or is the casual nature of facebook and occasional encounters at school sufficient? So many questions, so much doubt every time we meet.

I’m looking forward to it as they’ve promised that last year there were a ton of decorations and it’s an easy couple of blocks. No pressure, just a mission in to extract candy from a strange neighborhood and we’re done. I can dig it. And it gets us out of the house for the evening though I wonder if we should go to the mall like the last couple of years too, even though there’s no particular inclination or tradition to hold up. We have good kids and it’s fun to have them head out together in a little mob, even if they seem to be inseparable we all know that entering kindergarten next year will likely scatter their social group to the winds, so it’s maybe the first and last time with this particular social network.