A view of Dana Point Harbor looking pretty as a postcard from up on the headlands. I hadn't been up to this location in about a year so this was the first time that I've seen the results of the construction along the Strand. There is now a road providing scenic views where before it was just open land. The view was so pretty this day that the road was lined with cars from people who had pulled over to take photos. And of course that means someone asked me to take a photo of them.
"Would you mind? You look like you know what you're doing." the woman said as she eyed my hard-to-miss white 70-200 (haven't we all wished to be able to camouflage that lens somehow at one point or another??). The truth is that I absolutely dread when this happens. I do know what I'm doing...with an SLR. It's not that I mind, I am more than happy to do so, it's just that I have absolutely no idea what to do with a P&S other than hold the thing at arms length, frame the photo by zooming with my feet and clicking the button they show me to click. I don't really understand how people can frame a photo by holding a camera at arms length, I've been looking through a viewfinder for 30+ years. I can't hold it steady (massive caffeine intake has a lot to do with that), I can't evaluate what I am seeing the same way I do when I look through a viewfinder. I can't choose my aperture and shutter speed, I can't choose the proper focal length for the image I want, I don't know how to tell you that the spot you are in puts harsh shadows on your face that will look terrible or that you are backlit because I know that you want a photo with you standing in that exact spot with that exact background and the last time I asked someone how to turn on the flash in the middle of the day they thought I was crazy. I have a panic attack because you think I know what I am doing and I am afraid I am going to disappoint you because I really don't know how to do anything with your camera except to click the button. You'd probably be better off asking the guy standing next to me using his cell phone. (I'm no good at cell phone photography either!)
So that is why when you ask me to take your photo using your point-and-shoot I get a strange look on my face...it has nothing to do with you, it's all about me.