Wednesday, July 01, 2009

shooting blanks

I am suffering from blogger frustration.

Perhaps, single blogger frustration.

I have been rather good about following Islagringo's dictum that bloggers should carry a camera wherever they go. (I recently rued my failure when a power line came down in the middle of the town square and I was cameraless. I have seldom seen such fireworks short of Independence Day.)

I just returned from a short walk with Jiggs to the beach outside of our gate.

Jiggs was in high form. He schmoozed with the surfers. He ran in the incoming tide. He made sand angels. He bonded with a new dog friend.

It was one of his better beach days -- and close to home.

And I had remembered my camera.

The photograph at the top of this post is the best one of the day.

In a word: nada.

In addition to the camera, I was carrying his "droppings" bag and my sandals.

Whenever I would set everything down to take a photograph, he was off to another activity.

If I tried to take a photograph while holding everything, they got in the way of the lens.

So, veteran bloggers and photographers, how do you multi-task when you are out on your own, and still take great photographs -- or any photographs?

I suppose a back pack is an option.

Any others?


Shooting Nothing in Melaque


Jonna said...

Hey! That looks just like my attempts to take pictures of the lightning on the roof the other night. I never caught it.

glorv1 said...

Maybe a backpack? Glad to hear the Professor is having fun. Have a great Thursday. Hugs to Jiggs.

Steve Cotton said...

Jonna -- Maybe we should start a blog: Photographs of Nothing -- Existentialism in Mexico.

Gloria -- He is having the time of his life. And maybve that is the point. Instead of creating photographs to remember, I should be enjoying the moment with him.

Leslie Limon said...

I usually forget to carry my camera with me. And when I do remember, the batteries are dead. Like today, when my hubby brought home a bag of cherries. Asi es la vida!

Steve Cotton said...

Cherries and no camera? Is there no end to the insanity? Good job on scoring the cherries. I am going to swing by Walmart tomorrow when I drop Jiggs at the veterinarian. I just may get lucky.

Croft Randle said...

Maybe a fanny / waist pack designed for a larger camera? One section for the camera, one for the droppings bags (hopefully lined) and a clip on the outside for the sandals. That way your hands could be free. You might be able to find something on your WalMart trip.

Anonymous said...

I am the photographer in the family and many times, I find that I miss much of what is going on being behind the lense. I'm too busy trying to get the perfect shot. I often "forget" my camera just for that is much easier to be part of the action than to be the one trying to record it. I'm always happy to hear about Jiggs' best days. Give him a couple of extra pats from his blogging buddy up north. Happy Canada Day!

Leslie Limon said...

The cherries were like a taste of heaven. I hope you find some tomorrow. By the way, I wrote a blog about the cherries and mentioned your blog, hope you don't mind!

Steve Cotton said...

Croft -- Prtty soon I will look like those tourists who are part pack animal. But I guess that is what we are.

Anonymous -- And a Happy Canada Day back at you. Whenever I do not bring the camera with me, I find that I actually enjoy what is going on aroiund me. Theresa of Merida has made that point in several posts. There is something "distancing" when I pull out the camera.

Leslie -- Thanks. I added your blog to my roll today.

Felipe said...

Get yourself a cell phone with a camera of 5 megapixels or so, or even less. Should take fine photos for the internet. Keep that baby in your pocket. You´re always armed, plus you can gab.

Islagringo said...

Back packs are too cumbersome. Fanny packs are too yesterday's fashion. The solution is a Letter Carrier's bag. Yes, they sell them in Mexico. You will not look like a tourist since almost every Mexican I know has one. Get one with a smaller compartment, preferably one that zips, in the front of the larger compartment. I carry mine everywhere and only dig out the camera when needed.

Todd said...

Two words....

Doggy Cam!

Just strap it on him!


Steve Cotton said...

Felipe -- Not a bad idea.

Islandgringo -- I don't think I have seen one. Any idea where I can look at one?

Todd -- You, sir, are a cat and bunny owner. Canine behavior would result in camera shots that would never make the cut on this site.

mdoneil said...

Don't you get funny looks when you collect the gifts Jiggs leaves about town? Why not forgo the bag'o jakes and get a small spade. That way you can bury them in the sand, or fling them in a shrub.

terri said...

You need a man-purse, also referred to as a murse. Heh. Just a thought.

I am a daily reader of your blog and felt the need to participate today instead of just observing.

Islagringo said...

Try WalMart

jennifer rose said...

You’re not on assignment as an investigative reporter – or even an insurance adjuster. You’re not Jimmy Olson. There is absolutely no need to tote a camera along everywhere you go like you’re on the once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind tour of Tokyo.

Look around you. How many residents do you see whipping out a camera at every opportunity? Not many, I’ll bet.

You’re in better stead if you’re camera-free.

Steve Cotton said...

Mdoneil -- You bet I get odd looks. It is quite a sight. I struggle to juggle everything while Jiggs is half way down the block living life as it should be led. But I get really irritated at people who do not clean up after their dogs. It is as bad as littering. No: it is littering.

Terri -- Thanks for jumping in. I suppose I cannot become much more of an item of humor for my neighbors. Of course, I could simply get rid of the camera -- matter solved.

Islandgringo -- What are they called? Are they near the backpacks?

Jennifer -- Yikes! We are thinking as one. I enjoy photography as a hobby, but most of my photgraphs are meant to complement my prose, not the other way round.

Billie said...

I use a backpack all the time. I can carry my groceries in it when shopping in the mercado. Stick the yoga mat in. Carry and extra lens, whatever. My hands are always free. It is the perfect solution for me. BTW I use one that is mesh and weighs very little.

Steve Cotton said...

Billie -- I had a back pack, but I stuffed it so full of fruit and vegetables that one of the straps ripped loose. But I am not certain a back pack works too well for holding jiggs's "dropping" bags. Jiggs is in the doggy hospital until Monday. I am going to try to get as much shooting in as I can untl he gets back. Of course, I will also have house guests. So, who knows?

Anonymous said...

I say get a small point-and-shoot with a strap. Set it to fully automatic, and hang it around your neck, or if it has a wrist strap, around your wrist.

Snap in haste and delete at leisure.

If you do that enough times, you should have a few decent photos even if you are struggling with lots of other things.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we typically use a digital SLR, but long for a good point-and-shoot with a low-noise sensor.

Steve Cotton said...

Kim -- Tried the neck method. I bang myself in the face every time I try to pick up Jiggs's calling cards. My major problem is that I am attempting to do too much at any given time. Mexico is not for multi-tasking. I think I am going to restrict my photography to special walk abouts.

Hollito said...

As Felipe said, a cell phone might be an option - even with less than 5 megapixels.
I recently spotted a "Google Streetview" camera car near my office, and of course took photos of it (if they photograph me, I will do that in return - HA!).
You can see the results in this entry (and even this photos were downsized for posting them).

The cell phone I use is a Qtek 9100 aka HTC Wizard aka Cingular 8125 aka I-mate K-JAM with a simple 1.3 MP camera. As long as there is enough light, it will take good photos. And it can work as a (car) navigation system, an agenda, a note pad, a voice recorder, an alarm clock, an adress book...and anything you want it to be, as there are loads of (freeware) programs for it.
Should be easy to get a used one for about 100 bucks in the States - it´s a really good quadband phone (works all over the world), too.

Steve Cotton said...

Hollito -- As I told Felipe, it is an interesting option. I actually have a cell phone with a camera. But, here is the problem. I frequently forget to take my camera with me; I never remember to take my cell phone. It is hooked up to my computer to synch calendars. Because it is in a separate area of the house, I never see it to pick it up when I leave the house. The same thing happened in The States. I suspect the problem is that I detest cell phones.