Lent’s Over: Time to Bellyache Again!

Selfie with Big Lens

Still trying to calibrate my big lens after its last spill to the pavement. See last week’s entry for the details. I’m getting closer but think sending it back to the manufacturer for their expertise is probably the best option at this point.

Been taking the laptop with me during my photography outings, tweaking the auto-focus settings for varying conditions, but can’t seem to get them as they were when the lens was brand-new. It’s not even a year old yet.

Going to give it one more attempt tomorrow if it doesn’t rain. Might have to wait until Monday. Hate to send it out for repair, but nothing’s worse than a blurry picture. Most likely I’ll be without it for a few weeks.

Walking around with a two-foot-long lens attached to a camera seems to draw attention. People come up often to see what I’m photographing. Then, in most cases, I have to see all their photos stored conveniently on their smartphones.

The other day I was out to make adjustments on the lens, when someone walked over to ask if I knew about the bald-eagles nest across the Delaware River. The camera assembly was set on a tripod, pointing that way, during the attempted calibration. A laptop sat on the picnic table before me for the software adjustments to the auto-focus, in between photos.

Delanco, NJ, bald eagles’ nest, as seen from across the Delaware River in Bensalem, PA.
Still blurry, a shot of the Delanco, NJ, bald-eagle parent and eaglet, taken on April 23, 2019.

As I explained about using the nest as a distant focal point for the lens adjustment, the guy pulls out his phone and proceeds to display a plethora of photos, to show me his collection of mostly out-of-focus shots.

“I don’t store pictures on my phone,” I said. “Otherwise, I’d be showing them to everyone I meet too.” He didn’t get the hint and kept bringing them up, sticking the phone in front of my face for approval of each one.

Now it was definitely time for me to leave! I began to pack up my gear as the fellow continued to scroll through his smartphone photo-indices while telling me his life story and looking for an “awesome shot of a woodpecker” that he took last year.

“Sorry, got to go,” I said. “I’ll take your word for it. Catch you later.”

Yesterday at another birding spot, an inquisitor drove up and asked if I was photographing the birds that were flying around. While telling him about the ones I saw, he whips out a smartphone and starts to show me his collection of blurry pics, telling me his life and work histories, places at which he likes to take pictures, birds that he’s seen, etc.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I’m unfriendly or think my photos are the best; but these people don’t let me get a word in edgewise before pulling out their phones to show me this, or that, while I’m in mid-sentence.

Used to be one had to put up with seeing another’s photos only from snapshots taken during their vacations, camcorder videos or maybe 35mm slideshows while visiting them at home.

Nowadays, everyone is a photographer, ever since the advent of smartphone cameras. If people aren’t glued to their phones while reading News Feeds or timelines on Social Media, they’re taking photos of themselves and whatever inspires them to post on Facebook, or whichever Social Media platform is their compulsion of choice.

Sorry, Lent is over. ‘Twas time for me to let out a barrage of pent-up complaining that I abstained from for 40 days. I’ve yet to sign back onto Social Media, another one of my Lenten abstentions. I didn’t miss that as much as I did bellyaching, however; hence, tonight’s tirade. I’m still not eating meat on Fridays.

Thanks for stopping in for a visit, and for your continued support.

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About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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