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Friday, February 29, 2008

Adventures in Digital Photography

So I have 15,000 bookmarks for In Twilight's Shadow. Most of them will be headed to bookstores and readers' groups, but if you'd like one for yourself--or bookmarks for any of my other books--I'll be happy to get it/them out to you.

Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Patti O'Shea
PO Box 1365
Minnetonka, MN 55345

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Adventures in Photography

I might have mentioned here that I gave my parents a digital camera for Christmas. They're always so hard to buy for and this seemed like such an ideal gift. Never mind that neither my mom nor my dad can manage to turn the computer on without me--how annoying could it be to download the pictures off their camera occassionally?

As it turned out, fairly annoying.

My parents returned last Friday from visiting my brother. On Sunday evening, I uploaded the pictures off their camera to the computer for them and my dad--the man who has left film sitting undeveloped for a year or longer--wants me to immediately order him prints of the digital pictures.

Actually, his first statement was that he would print them out on his all-in-one Epson. I was like, uh, no, you don't have a photo printer. You don't want to know how long it took before he understood that he wasn't going to get a quality photo off a cheap inkjet printer. It was after this when we got into the discussion about immediately getting him prints.

So Wednesday I went over to my parents' house and this was the day I was going to take care of it all for them. First up was getting them an email account. Yep, they didn't have email. Next, I signed them up for an online photo service. Third on the list was getting them to pick out which photos they wanted printed.

"All of them," my dad said.

"You don't want to pay to print 70 shots when some of them are blurred, or have people's heads cut off, or are duplicates of other shots," I explained.

Now my real ordeal began. I set up the computer to run all 70 shots as slideshow. All they had to do was look at the picture, decide whether or not they wanted it, and write down the photo number. I might as well have asked them to build a rocket ship, so that I could visit the International Space Station. :-)

OMG! They watched the slideshow three times without reaching any decisions. I finally had to take charge. I would stop each image and ask, "Do you want this one?" Or if they said they wanted one, I would say, "Are you sure? It's out of focus." Then they'd rethink their decision. After a torturous length of time, they decided on 30 photos they wanted. (All I have to say is I don't understand why they wanted some of them, but whatever. At least we'd finished.)

Then there was more fun. Their photo software that came with the camera doesn't have editing capability! ::head-desk:: I uploaded the shots to the photo site anyway, planning to download them at my house, edit them and reload them, but as it turned out, the photo site lets people do simple editing. So I did. I cropped the pictures that needed cropping, placed their order, and booted down the machine.


I ended up spending much longer at their house than I expected and most of that can be attributed to the length of time they spent dithering on which pictures they wanted. If I'd had any premonition that this is what my future would hold when I bought them that camera, I would have rethought my choice of Christmas gift. Argh! And just think, I'll have to go through this every time they take pictures. Sigh.