We Baby Boomers have a lot going for us. We have been around the block a time or two -- or three, and we often get a little over-confident in how much we have learned and grown over the years.
Sure we have more wisdom. We’ve seen it all or most of it, and we can often figure out what will come next. We have perspective, something I always told my children their parents brought to the table. Thanks to the
many years we have been at this, we can cut through the drama to reveal the Big Picture of what’s going on.
But the one virtue I have found that doesn’t seem to be enhanced as we get older is patience. And interestingly enough, I think the years erode what little patience we may have once had when we were younger, leaving us with a definite deficit.
I have found this to be especially true as I pursue my new photography hobby. Like you, I have taken pictures for years and have a few good ones to show for it. But since I am taking digital photography classes and being exposed to really good photos, I want to be good at this, too, and I want it to be now.
I get really down when I get home from a “shoot,”-- read that “track meet” or “cemetery browsing” – to find that most of the pictures I took aren’t worthy of showing to anyone. I often wonder what I was thinking when I snapped the shutter. Sometimes you’d have a hard time guessing what was supposed to be in the photo as many of them are so dark they look like the inside of the Catacombs. No manner of Photoshop magic is going to bring them back. But there they are, uploading to my hard drive, eating up huge amounts of hard drive space, just like they deserve a place there. Covert deletes (These photos were never here!) gets them off the hard drive, but that doesn’t leave me many to actually use.
Both of my photography teachers have been in the business for decades and will readily admit they are still learning. And I just read in one of the many photography books I borrow from the library that renowned photographer Ansel Adams had thousands of photos he never developed from his film negatives. Thousands. So if I have hundreds of photos that will never ever see the light of day, is that so bad? No, it seems to go with the territory of learning this complicated art, but I still have a hard time coming to grips with that.
There’s no doubt that I am glad to have all that wisdom and perspective that has come with growing older. But that pesky patience gene is still missing. So I try to remember all those lectures I gave my children when they were young: Do your best; Take time to learn how to do it right; Don’t worry, be happy. All of which makes good sense but still, I could use an influx of patience to keep my frustration level down as I make my way through the digital world.
By Teresa K. Flatley