See, this is why I hate these new-fangled contraptions like digital cameras. The other day I took a different route to work. As I looked east across the laguna, the area above the blue outline of the hills gleamed white-wine gold. The sky was pale greenish-blue, one smudge of clouds tinged rose-colored. In the foreground, a diaphanous, silvery scarf of mist twined among the stark black trunks of the oak trees.
I hit my blinker and stepped on the brake, pulled off the road and clawed through my briefcase for the digital camera. I found it, waited until the garbage truck went by so that I wouldn’t get pan-caked, scrambled out the car and ran back to a good vantage point. Mist, still there, rose-golden cloud, still there. . . I raised the camera and stared at the blinking Low Battery light.
Of course I had extra batteries! But this was a dynamic situation. The light was changing with each breath. I risked it, went ahead and took three shots. What I got. . .well, you can see what I got.
This isn’t one-tenth of what it looked like—not one-one hundredth of what it looked like.
If I had used my old-school film camera, the picture would have been better, the color subtler, the whole image more evocative. And if I had done that, and the picture wasn’t any better, would I blame the old camera? In a heartbeat.