The Old School Try

A photographer friend jokes about an “old school” button on modern digital cameras … OK, there are seemingly hundreds of buttons and dials and touchscreens on these suckers, but stay with the class. See, this button lets you take photos utilizing only, like, seven f-stops.

I mean, why bother taking a photo with that little choice?

All right, so Shop Boy’s a little geeky. Selectively, of course. But most of you are probably at least sort of familiar with the concept of aperture, right? No? This is the width of the camera’s shutter opening, which controls how much light gets through to the film — or digital recording device nowadays. It determines “depth of field.” You know, you can set it wide open to make the subject clear and everything in front and back of it out of focus, or you can close it up to capture your subject as well as everything for miles in front and back. The higher the number, the smaller the lens opening — and the more light you need to get the shot right.

On Shop Boy’s old .35mm camera, the settings are 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and 22.

Well, for these twitchy kids today, with their 37-button, quadruple-toggle video game controllers and text messagers that look like something out of NASA, only seven options is, like, WTF?

Ahem. Not to sound like a cranky old dude … but back in my day, seven buttons was plenty. If you weren’t good enough to work with only seven buttons, well, practice up!

All of which is to say that as much trouble as teens have narrowing their focus down, some of us now have expanding our focus out.

Our brains are stuck at f2.8 while these kids are at f90 or whatever.

Oh, yeah? Let’s see them shoot a basketball game in a dimly lit gymnasium with tall and fast players flying all over the place. Um, that’s right … they play video games while doing homework, taking photos, eating pizza and texting friends.

Shop Boy? Ask Maureen Hogan.

So here I am with this new Typecast Press digital camera, and the choices for shooting modes is mind-boggling. But I promised Mary I’d learn it in exchange for her letting me buy it, so Shop Boy’s doing something he promised himself he’d never do: read the instruction manual.

And there’s like, all kinds of information in there. Who knew?

Did I mention a deadline? See, Shop Boy has for too long — to some people’s way of thinking — been puppet dictator of a rebel province. Meaning this blog. Many of you who do read these stories don’t necessarily make the trip back to Mother Typecast Press, in whose service Shop Boy toils (not always as Mary might prefer to have it). OK, maybe that’s a weird analogy. But again, keep up!

And the folks who visit Typecast Press don’t necessarily find the eternal wonderment that is Shop Boy’s blog. I think I speak for all of us when I say that is a darn shame.

Sometime in December, all that will change … I mean, except for the “not always as Mary might prefer to have it” part.  ;-)

Shop Boy is going home to Typecast, thanks to the work of a very talented and patient web designer named Mike McNeive. We’ve loved our site —, built by a previous designer — but haven’t really been comfortable enough technologically to update sample photos and the like. In typical fashion, I was afraid we’d break it. And since this blog started as a joke — shhh! — Shop Boy just used the easiest blog maker around,, and started blabbing.

Anyway, Mike is streamlining our site to ease navigation and let even us be able to post more recent photos and show you what, ahem, Shop Boy has been complaining about and, OK, celebrating all this time. And we’ll be better able to make a mental note of who’s stopped by. (Yes, we will be taking attendance, class.)

Not sure we’ll be bringing Shop Boy’s other blogs along for the ride. Can you imagine? More of all this Shop Boy magic that you’ve never experienced, at least by the looks of the visitor stats over there.

I’ll give you a heads up when the move’s going down. Meanwhile, back to the directions …

Hey! Did you know there’s something called a “smile detector” on here? If one subject’s smiling and the other’s not, the camera automatically senses it and speaks up.

Like, WTF?

Wonder if it can pick up unseen basketball players barreling toward you while you fumblingly shift from f2.8 to f22.

Could have used that back at Shop Boy’s old school.

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “The Old School Try”

  1. smitty Says:

    Like you, I live in fear that I’ll ruin my wordpress blog one day. I made a mistake on a “featured content” widget recently and the whole thing went black.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: