I’ve been out of the loop for a bit, suffering the medieval horror of slow Internet service. Not completely lacking it, but realizing that I do have a price and it is a high speed cable modem. I took a little trip to Colorado, which was beautiful and inspiring and relaxing, all of which was wiped away courtesy of United Airlines Express, a broken plane, a hail storm and eight hours in the Aspen airport. Aspen may be the playground of the rich and famous, but they don’t stop at the airport. Their private jets glide right on by us regular folk, who wait in vain for the one turbo prop plane that still has all its parts, without even a stick of gum to amuse us-that’s right, small, barely pressurized airplanes and the Aspen airport is GUM-FREE.
I took a lot of pictures on my trip. Breathtaking scenery, quirky small-town details, the occasional slumming celebrity “keeping it real” in the ex-mining towns where I was staying, and I have to say, upon reviewing them, I am an AWFUL photographer. You would think an illustrator would be able to take a reasonably well-composed photo, that light and shadow would be dynamic, that the focal point would be clear. Sadly, for me it is not the case, even with the “couldn't be more simple” point and shoot digital camera I was using. Perhaps it was growing up in the age of the Kodak 110, maybe it was all those years I used a Polaroid to shoot reference photos of hubby posing as whichever character I was illustrating (elderly Asian woman, eight year old child, middle-aged man with rake), not really caring how the photo turned out since I would be changing all but the basic pose in my art. Maybe it is never actually reading the instruction manual that came with the camera. In any case, I have vowed to do better. I will pay more attention and take better photos both for pleasure and for reference. I will put costumes on my models and light them from a single source. I will not just point and shoot without so much as a glance at the viewfinder. And finally, let me just say, thank the gods for Photoshop.