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January 30, 2012: A Walk Around the Loop with Tinni

Yesterday it was -10°F out. Cold, after a bit the nose starts to hurt. Pull the baklava up around the nose and the glasses steam up. Remove your glasses and your fingers also start to hurt. Pull the baklava down, put the ungloved hand to nose, exhale hot air, put the glasses and gloves back on, shake the arms, stomp the feet, and repeat the above, as many times as is necessary.

It would be nice to forego the above, but life around here goes on. And the horses gotta get out. So yesterday I first took Tinni for a walk. I tucked my camera in my Refrigerware suit, and off we went.

Tinni's shadow

Tinni was, as he always is, an agreeable companion. He doesn’t ever complain about the cold—but this has got to bother him. His eyelids frost over, as do his nostrils.

I walked, stopped, took photos. Each and every time, Tinni waited patiently as I fumbled with my zipper, pulled forth the camera, adjusted settings, took photo, returned camera to Refrigerware suit, and again fumbled with the camera. Every so often my old pal would nibble on my arm, and look with great interest at the camera—he seemed to think that it contained something edible.

It’s nice to have a companion that just goes along with the program. Signy is also this way, and to a certain degree, Siggi. Raudi—we are getting there, but right now a walk with her is more of an exercise in observation. That is, she’s doing the observing, and I’m along to make sure that she doesn’t get a wild hair up her butt and take off. Although, if she did take off, she would stop and wait for me to catch up. Didn’t used to be this way. Used to be that she’d go for a run, and so would I.

Anyhow, my walk with Tinni: It was too cold to spend time pondering apertures and shutter speeds, so I took photos quickly. What I learned yesterday was humbling. This was that I saw things, and thought they’d make good photos. But I quickly discovered that I do not yet possess the ability to get on digital what’s in the mind’s eye. For example, I took several photos of snow mounds, and later I discovered that they lacked detail—there were no shadows, no depth, no differing shades of white and blue.

Ach, fooey. I’ve been told that with digital cameras, you can change things later. Also, you increase the odds of your getting a good photo by taking a large number of them. I know this, but I also know that my now knowing next to nothing about photography is a distinct detriment.

As I write this, I realize there are some out there who right now are feeling the same way about writing. I do feel for them. I feel for anyone who has recently taken up a new art form.

I told Tinni, who was asked to stand more times than most, that this photography thing will get easier when the weather is better, for then I won’t simultaneously be dealing with the cold.

But later, once I was back in the house—there were also a few interesting surprises, one of which was a photo in which I focused on a berm under a sign—I didn’t then see the snowmobile patterns on the nearby ground. What a surprise, to see that what I did not see, made for a better picture.

I guess I need to cut myself some slack. I’ve had this camera now for a week, and am just getting familiar with it. I am still on the upward climb of the learning curve. What I need to do is stop every so often and take in the view.

In the Mind’s Eye
The old horse pauses, as do I.
To our left and right are snow mounds,
mere windblown figures, missing arms, missing heads.
Shoulders thrown back, they appear ready to laugh
but have no tongues.
They point the way, with fingerless hands.
To look into a horses’ eye
Is, if you are human, to see where you’ve been.
To look into the human’s eye
Is, if you are a horse, to see where you are going.

Next: 56. 1/31/12: Out Goes January