Human Interest

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. I thought I would start off the new year with something a bit different.

It’s been just over a year now since I began working part-time at my local camera store.  I sought out the job not to earn a living, but because 18 months of Covid had left me socially isolated and mentally desolated.  I needed human contact.

Over the course of this past year, I have been blessed with exactly that.  I have discovered the wonderous variety of stories each of us has to tell about our lives, experiences and interests.  I’ve also discovered that customer service isn’t about transactions – it’s about the relationships formed with the people we serve. 

To start off 2023, I wanted to tell you about some of those.

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Rumors and Leaks – Do We Really Need Them?

Are you an “insider”? Do you sign up for newsletters and online posts that claim to provide you with the latest “scuttlebutt” on what’s happening in technology? Do you eagerly absorb each one, hungry for that smallest detail? Do you politely argue with the creators that what they say is not the full picture, or could not possibly be true, or makes no sense if it was true?

I’m discovering that some of the most successful online posts and videos are about, well really, nothing. They are someone’s opinion about what we might see next or how the market might drive those choices. Some have gained a reputation for “accuracy”, even if only half of the posted information does come to pass over time.

The bigger issue for me, though, is why we need such “services” at all. I’ll admit that I’ve watched, even subscribed, to some of these sites, but find it more and more annoying to watch each episode – I usually turn it off after a minute or two. Sometimes I skip posts all together. So why do we bother with them?

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You Are Offline!

Missed my regular post date a couple weeks ago. It’s been a crappy July so far. Long story short – I’m recovering from a non-Covid illness that floored me as much as Covid likely would. Just getting on my feet again. After close to three weeks.

And to top it off, the Internet provider I use had a massive country-wide outage recently that took everything down. Lasted only a day, but you realize exactly how dependent you are on them and on it when it is not there. That’s today’s piece: why are we so dependent?

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One Door Closes…

I seem to be full of metaphors today: “one door closes, another opens”. Or “Nina has left the building”. Or “The End” followed by a mike drop.

Three years ago I said yes to a volunteer role with my local camera club. That role had the lofty title of Program and Education Director. Having worked in corporate Canada for 35 years, I knew a Director was a big deal and that taking it on meant a serious commitment of ideas, time and energy. Three years later, one pandemic later (hopefully) and more than 35 club meetings and events later, I can honestly say that was true. I ended my stay in that role today, turning it over to another club member who I hope will enjoy it as much as I did.

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Cornering the Market

What do you do when you are the recognized leader in a market, have high demand but cannot bring product to that market? You abandon some of your market, apparently.

Canon has teased us with some new product announcements over the past year, but in comparison to their typically prolific advertisements prior to Covid, the announcements have been like raindrops in a desert. Eagerly sought out, with immediate impact, but within a split second, evaporating into nothing.

It seems that camera manufacturers are rethinking what it means to be in this business. With raw materials unavailable, production lines decimated and even transportation options a mere shadow of years ago, it’s definitely time to rethink the business.

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But I Can Get It Cheaper on Amazon

I work at a camera store.  Have been for the past 5 months.  I love talking with customers about their photography interests and options.  So many different experiences, so many peculiar situations.  Everything from those who have accidentally attached an accessory incorrectly and can’t detach it to those who have a peculiar photographic need such as surveillance in their role as a private investigator.

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Vernacular Photography

Hello and Happy 2022! Hope you had a pleasant holiday season and were able to enjoy it with family and friends, despite our ongoing Covid challenges. As mentioned previously, I spent the holidays working at a camera store and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But now it’s back to my photography. I’m dedicating myself to it this year, and hope to show much more new work shortly, so stay tuned.

But learning continues to be a focus as well. I thought I had heard of almost everything to do with photography – yes, there might be some obscure piece of equipment I had never heard of, but in terms of genres, I thought I knew it all. Not so. Listened to a great podcast driving to work about a totally new (to me) genre called “vernacular photography”. What is it? Read on.

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The World Has Changed

We are all looking forward to a “return to normal” as Covid-19 is wrestled to the ground. We seem to get hit in the face repeatedly as we wrestle though. But I’m confident that eventually, there will be no Covid-19 driven restrictions.

But the world has changed, and normal just won’t be that. We see signs of it everywhere – job postings that are not filled because potential employees are afraid of being in service industries, chip shortages, no trucks to ship products, no fresh produce, gas prices that are ridiculously high, more and more people working from home, and my favourite, cameras that are announced one day and cancelled the next.

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On the Road Again

shutterstock_93355207It’s been a trying year to say the least.  Lockdowns, restrictions, cancellations, disappointments, even changes to things as simple as ordering food.  I went to a local take-out place recently, only to be told that no more than 2 could be inside the take-out order area and that once my order was placed, I had to wait in a pre-marked parking area, in my car.  Businesses and people are adapting.  I have to admire how well we are adapting.  But it still sucks.  And on top of it all, my blog host, WordPress.com, decided to completely replace the blog editor I was familar with.  Hence no posts for the last two cycles.  An old dog can learn new tricks, but it sure takes a lot longer.  I decided recently that I needed a break from it all, and with restrictions in place, took a trip north to two parks. Continue reading “On the Road Again”

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Almost everything I read or watch now starts with “because of the situation we are in” and proceeds to explain why things are being handled differently than usual.  In many ways, I admire the creativity of people generally and of our community of photographers especially.

Those who make an income from photography are developing ways to stay connected to their audiences and are still finding ways to earn income.  Others are creating unique experiences, either by showing an aspect of their talents that had not been seen before, or by offering more intimate, less structured connection time with fans and supporters.  I applaud them all.

The Good The Bad The Ugly

But hitting home most for me is what “this situation” is revealing about the society we live in, the life we take for granted, and the problems we have ignored for too long. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”