The High Probability of a Low Probability Event

In his book, Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how when we want to change ourselves, there is a statistically proven high probability that a low probability event will happen and derail our plans.

We’ve had ours for this year.

While taking sunrise pictures in Acadia National Park, my favorite boy toy slipped on some loose gravel and fell backwards, destroying his camera and lens, and tearing his tricep.

20150907-21 Blog

The button right below the start / stop is totally gone. Canon put that little glass slide on the back to keep glass fragments from getting all over while they determined the camera was not fixable.

Thankfully, the camera and his backpack of lenses broke his fall. But it hasn’t been fun.

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Evolution of Digital Cameras

As much as I love digital photography, I’m glad it’s improved so very much. So when this week’s photo challenge was to show the word blur, I thought I’d share how far the cameras have come since 2001.

Back when digital cameras were new, I bought an upper end point-and-shoot, the Canon Pro90. I quickly discovered that a) the cats moved faster than the camera could record and b) the flash was waaaaay too bright. In fact, the picture on the left was the primary reason I continued shooting with both film and digital for several years after we brought the kitten home. As for the picture on the right, everytime digital photography improves, I try again to save it. This is the best I could do using Topaz Black & White. I like the picture, which is the only reason I don’t delete it.

By the way, having the flash too bright remains a perpetual problem for me. Here are two more! The Vizsla on the left was taken in 2011 with the Canon PowerShot G12 (also a point-and-shoot). I took my daughter last fall with the Canon EOS 6D, an upper end DSLR. I used an add-on flash with it and clearly didn’t understand how to use it, although the next few photos turned out  much better (click here to see).

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Why A Photo Challenge Was Begun

Earlier this year, I began not one, but two, daily challenges – blogging and photography.

Yesterday I wrote about why I started blogging and continued blogging.  As I worked on my post, I realized that while I blogged because I enjoyed it, I had begun the daily photo challenge for a totally different reason.  I started it to improve my camera skills, especially to learn how to use the new Canon Rebel that my favorite boy toy talked me into buying.

Until I bought the Rebel, I always used point and shoot cameras.  I took many good photos with them even recently, as I don’t always take my Rebel to work with me.  I do take better pictures with the Rebel and it is much easier to take good pictures too.

The first few weeks of the photo challenge were fun – oh, click this!  click that!  this!  that!  And then I decided I’d never improve my technique if I didn’t work at it harder.

So I learned how to change the focal point and the metering.  I learned about depth of field.  I did it on both cameras too.  It was funny during lunch trying to remember which button the camera used as they were not quite identical, mostly due to the age difference (about 7 years).

My reason for a daily photo challenge did change this summer to building up a portfolio of photos, which was a wonderful benefit.  I’m loving all the pictures of the dogs, my favorite boy toy, my daughter, the clouds and the flowers.  It’s certainly helped my blog.  I’m okay with changing my reason for doing it.  What was good was to begin it and let it evolve just as my blog did.

At the right side, I have some links to reasons for doing a photo challenge.  I found them inspirational and helpful.  I also listed some places to go for help on photo editing.  I don’t spend a lot of time doing Photoshop, but it can help a good picture become better or repair a photo that is a one-of-a-kind.  There are also links to others who are doing a daily photo challenge [note – these links are no longer there, but a lot of material can be found on the Internet].

As you set goals for next year, consider whether a daily challenge of any kind would help you learn a skill.  It doesn’t have to be for a full year.  If you want to expand your cooking skills, maybe you need a daily challenge for 30 days or 3 months.  If your goal is to scan old family photos, you might want to challenge yourself to scan something daily.  Challenges are both fun and frustrating.  It’s easy to get discouraged for a while until you realize that wow, I did that.  I DID THAT.  It makes it all worthwhile to keep going in the challenge.

It’s nearly the end of the week.  Do you believe it?  Christmas is coming quickly.  Today I start opening the little windows on my Advent calendar.  I waited too long to buy it this year and don’t have a nativity one, but it will still be fun to get glitter everywhere each morning even without a cat nose to investigate it (the dogs are not allowed upstairs).

I took today’s photo in mid-October at the botanical gardens.  I was amazed at how lush the pitcher plants were as during the heat of summer they looked terrible.  I didn’t realize they grew all year until I saw them in October.

© 2011 dogear6 llc

Word for tomorrow – CHAMPION.  If you prefer to work ahead, see the list for the week under “A Word A Day”.