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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

Those Nude Photographs Will Always Come Back to Haunt You

November 8, 2011 8 comments

By my third pregnancy, my back protested. No more of this baby business, it told me by way of searing pain.

Instead of being a vessel that sent signals to my limbs and brain, my spinal cord became a rod of fire that roared whenever I was on my feet. And since my other children were four and two, that was a lot. No sympathy from the toddler corner.

I tried to grin and bear it, but that usually manifested as swearing like a truck driver and screaming at my kids.

Since I’m a sucker for punishment but not pain, this would be my last baby; the last kick at the can, the last time my stomach would bump into corners and catch my breakfast crumbs. This caused me the tiniest bit of melancholy, I did like feeling those knees ripple across my stomach and that whole creating life concept.

So I decided, against my better judgment, to have pregnancy photos taken. You know, the black and white classy ones with your private parts artfully shadowed.Then I stumbled across one of those promotions where the photographer would practically pay you to have your photos done: the proofs were free, the 8 x 10’s were free, you just gave her your email address so she could harass you for the rest of your life. Surely this was serendipity.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. (In case you are now gripped with fear that you will scroll down and scream, I haven’t posted any of these photos below.)

I hasten to remind you that Demi Moore had these same photos done and she looked pretty damn good. After that, pregnant women were waddling into photography studios in droves, so this is not an isolated incident of vanity.

  • I struck the same pose, but didn't look anything like this.

As the date for my debut shoot approached, the temperatures skyrocketed. A hot summer day when you are eight months pregnant is akin to a day in hell. So I spent the weekend submerged in a glacial lake while my husband and children frolicked on the beach.

Monday morning I woke up with what looked like large mosquito bites all over my body. By noon the size of these bites rivaled ping pong balls, and by dinner they were seething with pus. I looked like an overstuffed egg roll with leprosy.

And those little beauty marks weren’t just innocently and quietly oozing away, they were also itching to high heaven. I was so busy trying not to scratch the little buggers that I even forgot about my back pain.

My doctor told me I had swimmer’s itch, but she consipicuously leaned away from me in horror the entire appointment.

I called the photographer to explain my case, hoping we could delay the shoot, but she could only put it off for a day, and then she was going on holiday. I wouldn’t be pregnant by the time she returned, so I was stuck with Wednesday.

On a positive note, my welts had stopped oozing by this point but remained scattered over my torso in an angry, scabbed-over state. It only looked like I had misplaced acne.

The photographer recoiled in horror when I dropped my robe. I laughed nervously and said something about the powers of PhotoShop, but she explained that while it was a useful tool, it couldn’t work miracles.

I have those photos in a shoebox somewhere. To give credit where credit is due, the photographer came up with the idea of draping a white sheet over my belly, thereby disguising my pockmarked skin whilst leaving its bulging outline. (I’m pretty sure she incinerated the sheet and disinfected her studio after I left.)

I stumbled across them the other day while chasing an agile spider. Whereas Demi Moore had looked beautiful, victorious, and a bit defiant in her Vanity Fair pictures, the look in my tired eyes only said please take the damn picture so I can return to my itching.

What have you done that causes you endless embarrassment in retrospect?

Conquering the bucket list: photography

December 8, 2010 3 comments
Nikon D700 camera

Image via Wikipedia

When my brilliant friend turned forty, she proclaimed her new attitude on life: “I’m no longer going to ask why; I’m going to say why not!”, and we all applauded wildly.  The concept is a sound one.  Practicing it, however, can be a different story altogether.  Who has time for bungee jumping?

But it did make me take a hard look at my bucket list.  It continues to grow, but I have checked very few things off of the list.  I stalled out after “have kids”.  What, exactly, am I waiting for?  I hit the forty marker yesterday, so decided there is no time like the present to tackle the things I want to do before I die.

Photography ranks high on this list.  A long time ago, back when neon was in and I had the ski suit to prove it, my parents bought me a 35 mm Minolta camera for Christmas.  Note this was back in the days when cameras used film, so experimenting with apertures and shutter speeds was a costly process, and unless you had access to a dark room, your results took a week to receive.  I happened to be perennially short of time and money, not to mention patience, so photography and I didn’t get very far.

I have been wielding point and shoot cameras ever since, replacing them every few years for a model with higher pixels when the camera inevitably dies after throwing around one too many times.  They are handy contraptions, and every now and then even produce a great picture.  One day I would revisit photography, but until then my cheap and cheerful models would suffice.

I thought my day of reckoning came last year.  On Christmas, to be precise.  Santa heeded my many hints, and I received a Nikon D-5000 digital SLR.  These have come down in price substantially in an effort to be competitive in the massive camera market, which now includes smartphones.  I noticed the automatic setting, and not wanting to argue with the camera’s own trusty computer, switched the dial to this setting and began shooting.  What did I know that the camera didn’t?

I have used this setting for a year now; and have the questionable pictures to prove it.  They are certainly no better than my point and shoot camera produced, with the added burden of carrying a cumbersome, weighty piece of equipment that doesn’t fit in my purse.  The automatic setting was not cutting the mustard, and my photography was getting nowhere.  Inspired by my friends’ new “why not?” motto, I enrolled in a course.  Twenty years late but better than never.

In three hours I learned enough to feel like I can conquer the world; Annie Leibovitz look out.  My instructor taught me his “Big 6” – the main concepts he uses when composing a photograph.  He blew the dust off of terms like aperture and f-stops, reacquainted me with shutter speeds, and explained how metering modes effect your pictures.  He discussed the concepts of white balance and exposure compensation, and readily expressed his views on available software for putting the finishing touches on your photos.

My homework is to practice using the various settings (but never, under any circumstances, am I to touch automatic mode), and then return my findings next week.  Now that I can speak this camera’s language, of course I cannot wait to play with the different settings and see how that translates to my pictures.

The total course length is six hours, its cost $150.  If only my other bucket list items – learning Spanish, reading the complete works of Shakespeare, owning something Prada – could be accomplished so easily.

Advanced Digital Training is on Welch Street in North Vancouver, http://www.ADTschool.com

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