Monday, April 21, 2008

Sorry Again Mr. Squirrel

For distracting you from the other squirrel who wanted to steal your nut.

Which he did for a moment before you snatched it back and scurried up a branch, leaving your rival sitting nutless in a tree at the USF Botanical Garden in Tampa.

A friend wrote asking why there had been no blog entries for a week. I wrote back: "Be glad your life is more interesting than mine."

Case in point:

That's where I spent Friday night and half of Saturday. And I know what you're thinking.

Madman! What a party animal!

It's an edit suite at WEDU, Tampa's PBS affiliate. The station's regular editor was on vacation. His freelance substitute was willing to work at night and on Saturday so instead of drunken karaoke -- with me doing the karaoke and everyone else, if they're smart, doing the drinking -- we were editing a feature story about the Adaptive Golf Foundation of America.

Someone get that guy's car keys before he goes out and kills somebody!

But nobody thought to get my keys so about 10 p.m. Saturday night I got into my car and went looking for places to take more night shots of downtown Tampa. I found some.

The next day back at WEDU, peeking at the photos on my laptop, I noticed that many of the shots were blurry. Noticed in passing, of course, as my attention focused laser-like on what the editor was doing. "What? Oh, yeah, sure. That shot looks great there. Can I see it again?"*

How did that happen? Not the video edit. How could I have shot so many photographs out of focus?

I told you he was drunk.

We finished editing the story around 2 p.m. -- too late to go to the local horse-racing track to see if my father was hanging out there and too early to drive out to Clearwater Beach and wait for the sunset. Instead I went to the USF Botanical Garden to see if any butterflies would pose for pictures.

Whaddya know? They did. And, whaddya know? Most of these came out blurry too! I am obviously retarded. (My apologies to anyone offended by my use of the term -- especially retarded people unfairly maligned by the comparison. I can hear them now. "I am waaay smarter than that moron!")

When I described the problem to my brother Jim, he explained that the problem was my ISO. I don't know ISO from an ice cream cone but in this context, he must have been talking about a camera setting. He cited a tip from a book that I own -- and have read -- suggesting a different setting that would keep more of the frame in focus.

OK, he's not a drunk. He really is retarded.

The next morning I went out to try again. Every day on the way to work I cross a bridge that spans the Alafia River and I've noticed the reflections of the riverside piers on the calm water. Morning is a gentler time of day and this shows it.

While shooting out here, I noticed that when I zoomed out to the lens' widest angle, everything went out of focus. Nothing I tried would fix it. It appeared that Friday night's blurry photos had less to do with my absent-mindedness than with a problem with the camera lens. I guess that's good because, unlike my retardation, there is a cure for the lens problem. And since the lens is only a few months old, it should still be under warranty.

Later in the morning I went to "The Kitchen" where few butterflies made even a flyby. I shot a few honeybees going about their daily chores before going to the gym to do one of mine.

I was tired enough when I got home to see if the cat was up for a sleeping contest. But with yesterday's blurry photos from the USF Botanical Garden still sticking in my craw, I drove up there to try again.

Of course this time the sun was harsher and the butterflies were fewer. But more of the shots I took came back focused so that was a plus.

What's the bottom line here? I'm not a drunk. I may be retarded. And one of my camera lenses needs repair. Aren't you glad you read all that?


*The editor himself described watching someone edit as ranking somewhere on the excitement scale between watching grass grow and watching paint dry. Only with those other two the viewer doesn't have to hear the same snippet of audio repeating numerous times. The editor had a script so I left him alone unless something something demanded my attention.

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

Sounds like your lens has a backfocus issue. If there's no manual adjustment ring on the back of the lens -- which most still lens do not have -- it'll need to take a trip back to the factory.