Friday, January 30, 2009
the squirrel ...click click, dull elves
This morning I go out with my camera and point it here and there, almost at random. Click, click click, I go without much thought or care. Digital ital equipment still make me uneasy. Not that I am ungrateful for the benefits it brings. But brought up in an age of parsimony, when you counted each exposure on your camera and the cost of developing and printing your compositions, I still can't get used to the size of the digital resource and the freedom to shoot and discard with what would then have seemed shocking profligacy. Click, click, click, we go, and minutes later there, on the screen is the result of our art. Masses if it. Art? Well, art and much luck. The art I suppose comes in cropping and tweaking afterwards. Free services like Picassa make it easy, and then there is all that capacity for back up. Hundreds of photographs stored on a memory stick or a DVD, though future generations will take it for granted, still seems an amazing achievement to me, and one, which makes me feel, in an irrational way, somehow greedy and extravagant.
On receiving one of the first printed copies of Pride and Prejudice from her London publisher, Jane Austen wrote to her sister Casandra, on 29 January 1813: "There are a few typical errors; and a "said he" or "said she" would make the dialogue more clear. but I do not write for such dull elves as have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves."