I am interrupting my SF series to scream “Aurgh!”
Or why you should always have your camera with you. Davis, 03-29-13.
So, this afternoon, as I walked away from my rental car to go into Trader Joe’s, I saw this gentleman in a traditional, slightly shabby, yet still dignified Scottish kilt talking with this lady in crisp, seemingly new, yet traditional blue scrubs. I turned, went back to the car, where I happened to have my camera, grabbed it, and stalked the two, though I admit it was all about the old man’s kilt. Yes, I know, “stalking” is an ugly word, an ugly act, but there you have it. I was gripped by my desire, nay, my lust for photographs of the old man in his kilt. Oh, and when I first saw the two of them talking, they were standing by an old 50s Ford truck, fading yellowish paint and rust and dings and all. I am certain it was the old man’s truck because I saw him throw something in the back. It was a perfect picture, a perfect tableau, but they moved just as I grabbed my camera, so I missed capturing that consummate moment.
Still, I am very proud of the fact that I thought of looking at my settings and lowered the ISO from 1600 to 200. Last time I used the camera, I tried taking a tripod-night picture, which was a fail, but I tried.
I followed them, snapping a couple of pictures. They talked and walked, unaware of my snapping. When they entered the market they parted ways and I followed him, snapping, snapping. Then he stopped at the tasting counter in the back, served himself a small paper cup of coffee. I approached him and asked if it was alright to take his picture. He did not mind, gladly posing, and thinking back to that moment I realize he is accustomed to posing in his kilt, because lemme tell you, he was werking the camera. I told him I was fascinated with his tartan and asked if it was his family tartan. He told me no, it was a military tartan, and he kept talking with me, explaining that he wore it to a wedding. He also told me he finished work at 1 am and then went to the wedding. Something like that, because, honestly, I do not recall precisely what the exchange was, since I was so freaked out that I was talking to this guy in the really awesome tartan, this full regalia mili-fucking-tary kilt, with the little feathers in his cap and every-fucking-thing. (Yes, I know, I said “fucking” twice, but I was freaking, no, fucking freaking. In a good way.)
I thanked him, got bottle of wine and water, but then at the cash register I noticed the old man in the Scottish military regalia walking out, so I started snapping, snapping, even getting the cashier in a couple of the shots. Nice, guy, the cashier. I really like many of the Trader Joe’s employees. The store is one block from me, so I have gotten friendly with several of the employees.
I went to my friend’s for dinner (no pictures) and drove around and then got back home, anxious to see the pictures.
Talk about “snapping.” I messed up almost every shot. I did change the ISO but I forgot to look at my other settings. Most every picture came out blurry or overexposed. There are a couple that may be okay, especially if I convert them to B&W. BTW, I love how he looks in this shot in color, but the crisp electric blue overpowers his worn tartan, so B&W was the best option.
At least I got this one good shot. I need to learn my camera and be more of a technician. But, dammit, I got this one good shot. I also feels good to admit that I am comfortable enough with having this one good shot. For me it is no longer about quantity. Like in writing, I am learning that editing, removing the loved but unnecessary to reveal the elegant, near-as-possible-perfection, is the goal.