I just started a class in digital photography out at DVC (a local college which has a GREAT multi-media department) with a brilliant teacher/artist-photographer, Jessamyn Lovell.

I’d been blissfully clicking away using my fancy SLR’s semi-automatic mode, but this week after only two classes Jessie cut us off from such simple pleasures, cold-turkey. She said it’s time to "take the training wheels off" and banned us from using anything but manual mode from now on.

The problem with this is that with the training wheels off, I’ve fallen
flat on my face. I can’t even get an image to show up on the screen
anymore. Never mind capturing the elusive secret of life, I’ll be lucky
if I can get my first assignment done.

I’m doing some work right now with a woman who is absolutely new
to computers. I’ve been watching her struggle bravely with things I can
do in my sleep and there was a slight feeling of disconnect for me
until having this experience with my camera helped me remember what it
is to be helpless in the face of technology. If nothing else, it’s
increased my compassion-capacity. Now all I need to do is figure out
aperture and shutter speed settings!

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