Or, of the camera, as it were. My Nikon D90 with its multi-purpose 18-70 mm lens has been at the doctor (all the way to Nikon itself) for most of the summer. I’ve been getting by with my very old Olympus 3.2 megapixel Camedia C-3020. It was my first, digital camera which HH gave me for Christmas, 2001. Although digital cameras have improved by leaps, bounds and pixels, surprisingly, I found that the Olympus still takes great pictures (although its large, outdated Smart Media card only fit in one reader in my house).
I bet you didn’t even notice that the photos weren’t as good. (Smile.) For example, all of the photos except the one below were taken with the Nikon. The Cuphea/Gaillardia combo was taken with the Olympus. In a blog, more pixels aren’t as necessary, because the blog owner usually re-sizes the photos to be smaller so that readers can load the page more efficiently. Narrowness of space is another issue.
The Nikon photos are sharper, but . . . when focusing on the morning glories above, I found a comparison. ‘Grandpa Otts’ is a variety much beloved by some for its intense depth of color, and yet, it is a simple morning glory with normal, morning glory ways. In other words, it can spread everywhere and become a nuisance. I remember a back-of-the-magazine editorial one time about ‘Grandpa Otts’ wherein the author made very clear her displeasure with this simple vine. It first charmed her and then took over her garden.
HH came in the other morning and said, “You have the most beautiful vine growing up the birdfeeder,” and he was right. Just look how the sunlight shines through those fine-as-bone-china petals. I must pull up the seedlings all of the time, but what price beauty?
Gardening, like photography and deciding how much technology you really need or want in your life, is subjective. WordPress has a motto: “Code is poetry,” and it is, being beautiful (to code writers), and mysteriously obscure to the rest of us.
Gardening to the uninitiated is just as unclear. In the spring, when all of the garden centers are full of brand-spankin’-new plants, it looks simple enough. Buy the plant in the pot, or the seeds in the paper package, and put them in the dirt, ‘er soil, water them and stand back.
Magic will happen, they seem to whisper.
When the seeds don’t germinate, or the plant dies, I can just see the new gardener standing there leaning against a hoe, scratching his/her head muttering, “Why?”
Why does my plant have these spots? Probably a bacteria or virus, but that just leads to more questions, which is why writers are still writing about gardening after all this time.
Why doesn’t my rose bloom? The heat. Don’t worry, it will look better in September.
What are these black spots all over my roses? Blackspot. What’s the white stuff? Powdery mildew.
Why did my cucumber plant wilt and die? If he watered it, and he assures me he did, cucumber beetles. My squash plant? Squash vine borers or squash bugs.
Where did the petals go on my Echinacea ‘Tiki Torch’ that I only planted yesterday? A Grasshopper ate them.
Probably. I write probably because unless given a lot more evidence, we’re never sure. How do you tell someone how to look for a cucumber beetle without their having ever seen one? That’s where the code = poetry comes in. Because the Internet is full of such photos, and I can usually give them a link to one, or upload one of my own from my garden. Code makes that possible.
No wonder would-be gardeners (especially in Oklahoma) often give up after the first, true summer. Sometimes, I want to join them. Even with experience, I still have questions of my own, just not as many as I once did.
I’m sure photographers get similar questions. I know I have them.
Why is my photo blurry? Out of focus, or you forgot to wipe the water spots off the lens (true story).
Why are all the colors bleached out? You took the photo during the middle of the day. Too much sun.
Like the beat, the list goes on and on.