Why can't I remember how to use my camera?
August 12, 2014 11:30 PM Subscribe
Photography has been a lifelong, though not consistent, interest of mine. I have always had an SLR or DSLR camera for about 30 years. Yet I still can't remember how to operate the damn thing without using automatic settings! What is my problem and can you suggest ways to improve my 'technical memory'?
posted by KateViolet to Education (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have always found it hard to follow instructions on how to use physical objects or move in a specific way - if I look at an Ikea flat pack assembly diagram, my brain just freezes; I can't knit and my sewing and violin teachers gave up on me in despair; I couldn't tie my shoelaces for years; I love freestyle dancing but can't follow choreography, etc. Possibly I'm a bit dyspraxic. I am fairly ambidextrous and sometimes I think the two sides of my brain just trip over each other. I can use relatively complicated software (e.g Photoshop) to a high level but once a third dimension is added (e.g. Blender), I find it really hard to understand.
Generally this shortcoming is annoying, but I find ways round it (aka 'my husband' normally). However, the area where I'm really frustrated is photography. I have read books, had personal tuition, been to a class, and I still can't remember how to use my camera! Part of the trouble is that I don't use it every day, but I really think that by now the basics on how to set up my camera should have sunk in. It's not THAT hard, surely! I have had this camera (a Nikon D50) for about six years and had numerous attempts at learning it; the knowledge stays for a bit then I realise I've forgotten everything again.
Please, do you have any suggestions on how I can learn this kind of thing in a way that sticks? I don't have time to use the camera every day but I would like to be able to pick it up and know what to do when I do use it. I'm not looking for books or guides unless you know one that's specifically written for people with my 'blind spot'!