Making It Click

I need to take some photographs.

OPTION A: Shooting my Digital SLR Camera:
  1. Be sure proprietary battery is charged. If not, charge battery and install into camera.
  2. Remove lens cap and switch on the camera’s power.
  3. Wait for camera to boot up, which could be up to ten seconds. If the camera bugs me to enter date and time, I do so. This occurs often, and will take about a week. Usually, I give up after five minutes and leave the camera set to to “01–01-2009.” This is why all my digital photos are dated Jan 1, 2009 and Apple’s “Photos” app (or the older iPhoto app) crashes every time I import photos from the camera.
  4. Select from among a variety of “scene modes,” or brainlessly select PROGRAM AUTO.
  5. Select focus mode.
  6. Select focus points.
  7. Select metering mode.
  8. Select metering points.
  9. Select ISO or ISO range.
  10. Select dynamic range expansion.
  11. Select white balance mode.
  12. Select JPG or RAW format.
  13. Select “soft button” mode.
  14. Select flash mode.
  15. Select USB mode.
  16. Select noise reduction mode.
  17. Select menu appearance options.
  18. Select LCD screen parameters.
  19. Select HDR on/off.
  20. Select about twenty other options. To do this correctly requires either a year of experimentation or a doctorate degree in digital image signal processing.
  21. Aim camera toward subject.
  22. Lightly press shutter release.
  23. Wait for autofocus to go in and out of focus, then cheerily beep that it has achieved focus. Or, at least, what it thinks is correct focus.
  24. Press shutter release fully.
  25. Camera takes photo! * * * *At this point I either feel like going out and getting drunk to celebrate, or I no longer care about photography — and I begin to yearn for the end of all life on this planet in a fit of nihilist rage against the machine! * * * *
  26. Wait for camera to process image. This requires several seconds.Repeat Steps 20 through 25. If I wait too long between shots, the camera will turn itself off, requiring me to begin over from Step 2.

OPTION B: Shooting my 1970s-era 35mm or medium format film SLR camera:
  1. The camera should already have the battery for its exposure meter installed. If not, install battery: it’s a common type, like an A76. The battery will last up to a year, so this step is a formality.
  2. Load film into camera. Wind to the first film frame.
  3. Remove lens cap.
  4. Aim camera toward subject.
  5. Glance at the in-the-viewfinder meter while focussing the lens. With practice, this requires less than a second. ALTERNATIVE: Meter the scene with handheld exposure meter. Then, focus the lens.
  6. Set aperture and shutter speed as indicated by exposure meter, or according to artistic requirements.
  7. Press shutter release.
  8. Camera takes photo!
  9. Wind to the next film frame.
  10. Repeat Steps 4, 7 through 9. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 only if the lighting or subject has changed. * * * * At this point I’m enjoying the creative process. * * * *
  11. Remove film after last film frame. * * * * At this point I’m eager to put in another roll of film and take more photographs! * * * *
  12. Take film home to my darkroom and process the film.

I choose Option B.

Now to pick which camera to use. But that’s another story.