Developing Important Skills

, , , , , | Learning | May 2, 2019

(Back in the days before digital cameras are a thing, new housing is about to be constructed for most of the families in my village, and since this is one of the last Yup’ik — “southern Eskimo” — villages in our region to get them, I want lots of “before” pics of the old houses for historical reasons. Because I want my students to be able to play a role in this process, I acquire some used 35mm cameras and tons of cheap government-surplus film for them to use, and then teach them how to develop it. This works surprisingly well for the most part, but in some cases, I guess my instructions and earlier demos aren’t quite good enough.)

Me: *checking in with one of my third-graders* “Okay, good job on loading the film reel. Next, take the tank out of the bag and add the developer. For this step, make sure you move the tank around as I showed you every minute for five minutes before you go to the next step, which will be the stop bath. Okay?”

(At this point, I need to tend to some other urgent classroom business, which takes a few minutes to resolve. Upon returning:)

Me: “Okay, how is it going? Did you remember to agitate it every minute?”

Student: *nods proudly* “Yes, I checked the clock very carefully!”

Me: “And how many minutes was it in?”

Student: *noting the second hand on the wall clock and dutifully giving the tank another swirl* “Nine!”

(Unfortunately, she’d been so focused on agitating it on each exact minute that she’d forgotten the more crucial part about the developer staying in for ONLY five minutes — after which it continues to get darker until it’s solid black. But on the plus side, the film was cheap and she did a great job on all of her future rolls of film.)

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The Mother Of All Awkward Photo Shoots

, , , , , , | Friendly | November 29, 2018

(Due to circumstances, I end up as the photographer on the day two of my best friends get married. Since I have some experience with photography and they have an excellent camera, the photographs turn out pretty well. We are in the middle of a short shoot when suddenly the groom’s mother seizes the opportunity and gets me to take some photos of her during the end of it, quickly and smoothly. Afterwards, my two friends and I huddle around the camera to see how it all turned out.)

Groom: “So, how did it go?”

Me: “This isn’t something a guy should normally say to his friends, but I got some nice photos of your mom.”

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Photography World In Shock, As Image Conjures One More “Wow” Than Expected

, , , , , , | Related | November 8, 2018

(I like photography, and I show my sister a pretty good photo I took and edited.)

Sister: “Wow.”

Sister: *slightly more amazed* “Wow.”

Sister: *very amazed* “Wow!”

Me: *pouting* “One more wow?”

Sister: *monotone* “Wow.”

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The (Water)Mark Of A Good Boss

, , , , | Working | August 9, 2018

(I work at a company as a photographer. Recently, my boss suggested getting the watermark always used on our images changed, so I got a new watermark from our graphic designer and starting using it. Several weeks later, I am chatting with my boss.)

Boss: *while scrolling through images* “That watermark looks so much nicer than the old one!”

Me: “I agree!”

Boss: “Good job suggesting that.”

Me: “Um… That was actually your idea.”

Boss: “Oh?”

Me: *laughing* “So, good job!”

Boss: “Thanks! I just wanted to be complimented.”

Me: “Slightly backhanded, but hey, it worked!”

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Holding You Up To A Lens

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2018

(My boss fancies herself a photographer, and she has just purchased a new, very high-end camera.)

Boss: “Darn it. I smudged the lens again!” *starts using inside of flannel shirt to clean the lens*

Me: “I have a extra microfiber cloth I can give you—”

Boss: “Nope! I got it!” *continues using flannel shirt* “Just seems to be smudging it all over the lens this time.”

Me: “I also have moist lens wipes; they’re safe for cameras and glasses—”

Boss: “Nope! I got it! It’s almost clean. Just wish these lenses would last longer than they do…” *continues wiping lens with flannel shirt*

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