Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Yes, this is an ESPRESSO VENDING MACHINE in my school building – it’s amazing. I’ve had to limit myself to three a day so that I won’t go overboard…

I wish I could also purchase fluent Italian at a vending machine, but my vocabulary is slowly growing. Part of my evening routine is to watch half an hour of Italian television (mostly teen Disney because the terribly exaggerated acting helps me keep up with the storyline). I’m hoping this will speed up my comprehension, kind of like when Antonio Banderas becomes fluent in a new language within minutes by just listening to the conversation around the fireside in ‘Beowulf.’

“Your first 10,000 photos are your worst.” This quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson (French master of candid photography) sums up my feelings about the second week of classes. My impatient, entitled American self doesn’t want to accept that finesse takes time, and practice, and commitment. I want it now, okay? When I asked my digital photography professor if he had any book recommendations for composition, he responded, “I prefer to instruct on that in person. When you present your photos in class, I will critique what you have done. Then you will remember because it hurts more when it’s personal.” Exactly. That’s what I was trying to avoid - I still need to take about 9,928 more photos before I hit my stride. It’s hard to be vulnerable, hard to admit that I am only where I am. Nothing more, nothing less.

Current favorite class: Film Photography. We spent the entire morning in the darkroom, and I am fascinated with the developing process. While we were dipping our film contact sheets in the different solutions, I really wanted to gush, “You guys. This is SO COOL!” but I didn’t because everyone else seemed a little tense. After the final rinse with water, we spread them out on a rack to dry.

Beautiful images begin in complete darkness. 

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