The thing is, I'm a kinda sucky photographer (full confession, I had an initial flash of panic use of the word sucky might be objectionable and then I remembered I'm no longer twelve). But seriously, my photos are, at best, okay and, at worst, deleted.
About a month ago I noticed all these beeyoootiful pictures filling up my Facebook feed.
At first I told myself my friend's cameras were just better than mine. Since I don't suffer from any form of camera envy I was content to leave it at that, but then I noticed these mind-blowing, gasp-inducing pictures were via Instagram. And so I caved.
It took about five minutes for me to produce my first sharp-focused, color-contrast picture that brought Likes and Retweets out like rain on a Portland day, which is to say, a lot.
If a 'real' digitalized moment can be light-adjusted until it satisfies our treat-hungry eyes than what's to stop us from doing that to every other aspect of our lives?
Of course, as I writer, I already do this.
These words you read, they aren't slap-dashed on the page, even though that's the way I want it to seem. In reality, they're edited. Maybe not as carefully as I edit my books, essays or short stories, but I do re-read and re-work them because I want them to be their best version of themselves.
All this perfection makes a funny kind of sense out of the frustrations I experience with my own imperfections.
When everything my eyes consume, both in print and picture is as close to perfect as it can be, it makes me strive to be able to recreate all these brain experiences myself.
I'm like a teenage girl wanting to look like a magazine model, except instead of Playboy measurements I want New Yorker quality writing with skilled photographer pictures to accompany it.
We all know the right answer for the teenage girl, but what's the right answer when it's our skill sets we're trying to improve instead of our measurements?
Do we keep pushing at our raw product until it matchs the heights set by products filtered through specialty photographer lenses and teams of editors with decades of experience?
I'm not 100% sure, but I think the answer is yes. I think it's called the learning curve or the process by which we get better. But, of course, I'm just one person with an opinion, which is why I want to hear what you think.