The Dog Ate my Homework

“Let’s see everybody’s homework today.”

Uh oh… I did something. Something that I had never done before. “What could it possibly be?” you’re wondering. Snake handling? Speaking in tongues? Hamster juggling?

Well, it’s really more like something I didn’t do. My homework.


There. I said it.

Maybe this photography thing is going to me more difficult than I thought. The assignment was really difficult and my pictures sucked. What was the assignment? I had to take pictures of four different types of motion. It’s harder than it sounds.

No way was I going to share my suckiest-suck-that-ever-sucked pictures so they could be used as examples of ‘what not to do’.

When it was time for show and tell, my stomach twisted into knots and my heart pounded. Confession time. Once I laid my soul bare, the instructor moved on like it was no big deal. Huh. Maybe it wasn’t a big deal. I paid for the class so why would she really care if some bored suburban housewife wanted to waste $130?

Why do I get myself so worked up? It’s a curse.

Then, the instructor turned to Mr. Picture-Perfect and said, “I’m sure you want to show us your pictures first.”

Background on Mr. PP: For our first class he shows up with a kick-ass camera, a camera backpack, multiple lenses, a tripod, etc. Either he’s an overachieving geek (like me – I was ALWAYS the kid that always showed up with all of my binders, books, pencils, erasers, rulers and protractor on the first day of school) or in the wrong class. This class is called Fundamentals of Photography which, I guess,  is better than Picture-taking for Idiots.  It’s designed for those that need help turning their cameras on. The first class is mainly devoted to labeling all of the buttons on your camera, including the ON/OFF button.

As the class progresses, I realize that he knows way more than he should for a Picture-taking for Idiots student. I’m starting to get suspicious. Then, the instructor gives us our homework assignment and she stresses that she does NOT want us to edit our pictures. We should “edit” our pictures as we are taking them. Basically editing = cheating. That seems fair.

Then, Mr. PP says, “I only take my pictures in RAW.”

Musings flying through my head at the speed of thought: Did I hear him correctly? He only takes in pictures in the nude? Why is he sharing that? It shouldn’t really have an impact on the assignment. Oh, wait. She does want three pictures taken outside – I guess taking his pictures in the RAW could be a stumbling block for this part of the assignment unless he has forgiving neighbors.

Observing the Say What? looks on our faces, the instructor proceeds to explain that RAW is a format setting on our cameras. Only professionals use this setting because when you take pictures in this format, each picture needs to be edited separately and you need to know what you’re doing. Okay, that’s cool. Hey, wait a doggone minute. What is this guy doing in our class and taking up precious class time on non-beginner stuff? Now I’m just irritated. At the least the instructor shut him down and told him that he would have to slum it with the rest of us and let the camera process his pictures. Take that Teacher’s Pet!

Now, back to the original story:  He blushed and shyly said, “Sure. I can go first.”


Okay, his pictures were awesome. Yes, he’s a good photographer. My point is why is he in our novice class? To make us feel even worse about our camera abilities? He should be in a couple of classes ahead of this one. He’s the fun-sucker. I know, I know. I need to just grow up, put my big girl panties on and act like I’m happy we have two instructors instead of one. More bang for the buck, so-to-speak. Yay!

Once the show and tell of the movement pictures was completed, our third lesson began. Aperture was the topic. We were going over the aperture setting on our cameras and I had trouble locating mine. She looked at my camera and found it for me. Then, I’m like “What’s this number four over here to the right? It doesn’t seem to change.” I offered her my camera, she studiously looked at it and then shrugged her shoulders. Without asking, she shared my camera with Mr. PP and he looked perplexed. Then, lightbulb! They conferred in secret and clearly uncovered the mystery. I looked at them searchingly and  they both blurted, “You don’t need to know that.” What? It’s my F@%$ing camera! Will you have to kill me if you tell me? Is the information over my head? Why does Mr. PP get a say in what I need to know?

Fine. Whatever. Uncharacteristically, I just let it go. It’s in the manual somewhere and I will find it.

The instructor may have been subliminally trying to convey to me that I needed to go back to using my awesome Kodak Disc Camera that I got in high school (and still own) because I will never be able to use a real camera. But, I’m going to ignore it.

Don’t worry. The fourth (and final) class is next week and I’m going to do my best to take some ass-kicking pictures. I will update my Flickr account with them so you can check out my awesomeness.

Take that, Mr. PP!

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