Feast or famine and the mental block of learning DSLRs

My life is a long series of monotonous daily routines punctuated by brief and terrifying moments of outright insanity.

Take this weekend, for example. On Sunday, I’m running in the Helen Woodward Puppy Love 5K on the inaugural Team Iams with an ace group of dogs and friends. Brody and I are super excited. And by excited, I mean, Brody is excited for a long walk and I’m just now realizing I should have spent more time training and less time sampling Girl Scout cookies.

No matter. I may walk a lot of it, but we’re getting out there, and there’s going to be dogs and awesome people and doga, and it will be great.

Then, I’ve given myself just enough time to run home and shower before running to the airport to catch a flight to New York to see the Westminster Kennel Club show for the first time. I could have caught a slightly earlier flight and foregone the post-5K shower, but I figured out of a sense of respect for my fellow travelers this was probably not an optional item.

I still have no idea what I’m going to be doing there- I have no agenda, no scheduled meetings (aside from finally getting to meet Annette from Biscuits by Lambchop!) and nothing that I have to do. What I do have is a list of people I want to meet for drinks, and that is good enough for me.

What I do want to do is get some good photos, and this is always a challenge for me on these solo trips because my husband always takes the pictures. This is both a blessing (when he’s around) and a curse (when he’s not.) I’ve never learned the art because I’ve rarely needed to use it.

After seeing that hysterical and slightly cringeworthy screenshot of me trying to hang with the big guys at the AKC show with my point-and-shoot, I decided to go big or go home and bring my husband’s DSLR with me to New York. I’ve been using it for three years, but by “using it” I mostly mean “I set it to full auto and fix it the best I can with Elements”.

What this translates to is that I have spent the last 24 hours with the camera in my lap, flipping through “30D for Dummies” learning what all the buttons mean. I’m reminded of my first clinical days in the vet school hospital, when I stood in the exam room with one hand on the dog and the other looking at the chart murmuring, “Eyes….OK, looked at that….teeth….lymph nodes.”

It took me 15 minutes to get through the exam in those days. That will be me trying to take pictures of squirmy dogs with a new camera. “OK….hmmmm, low aperture means narrow depth of field? Or is it the other way around? Wait, where’s the button for adjusting shutter speed….” and then I will say forget it and flip the dial to Auto and just throw a sock over the persistent auto flash just like I do now.

Much like perfecting the art of the spay, I assume this will take a little more time to learn than the one afternoon I allotted to the task. Oh well, such is the life of a procrastinator. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a bag I need to think about packing and not do until late Saturday night.

Pawcurious Vet Blog: With Pet Blogger and Veterinarian Dr. V

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