It’s been a dry spell for writing lately. I’ve had several column ideas, but they only sound good until I start writing and realize all I have is a catchy hook and not much substance. Other times I am trying to tackle subjects far too complex for the 600 words allowed at the Journal Sentinel. Work has been decently busy as all the outside sales people scramble to get as many orders as possible before the end of the year. Many days I can’t help but race home after work to make a hot beverage and experiment with vegetarian curry before lazily plopping in front of the tv or whatever novel I am in that day.
At some point each evening I spend time reading the informative and pretentious views of the Mexico travelers on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum, mapping out potential routes to discover some hidden local treasures around Fermin’s home town. The people posting on Thorn Tree are those who scoff at tourist-laden locales in favor of hiking in the mountains sampling local food and interacting with the real world of rural Mexico. Some of them are unbelievably rude, offending many an unsuspecting traveler who dared mention their interest in an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. Although I try not to be mean about it, I have basically the same snobbish attitude about traveling.
Tonight I’m going to purchase a better lens for my camera before I leave next week. I’m hoping to return with at least five or six rolls of used film. I know the world’s gone digital, but I love my film. I love taking it for developing, I love getting it back, driving home from Target or Art’s Cameras Plus, ripping open the envelope and trying to view my prints while driving. I love working hard for my shots, the feeling of accomplishment when even half of them turn out well. I still view digital as a cop-out, an excuse to take a thousand pictures, 950 of them crap. I recently took a short continuing education class on the basics of light, composition, etc, and when the elderly teacher asked how many people used digital, every hand in the class went up except for mine.
I was a little shocked, I thought at least there would be a purist or two around me, but the majority of the people in the class were just looking to take photos of family and friends and share them on the internet, so most any camera would do. I totally understand that, and I am far from a professional photographer, but I want to take good photos, not just average ones. I am less interested in capturing some moment because it was fun than I am in creating something artful. That said, I look forward to returning from Mexico with a baggie full of eventual prints that no one will be interested in except me.