On cameras

Out here we’ve been having a lot of fun watching the two babies. They both just turned one. They have really different personalities… not really surprising but it’s nice to see them become their own individuals.

I’ve had a Canon PowerShot camera for a long time. It’s not high end. I prefer buying mid-range devices.  Often my theory is to buy the second least expensive or second most expensive.

I never use my phone camera. For a long time I had it blinded until I wanted to take pictures of the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence at the library. I’m sensitive to privacy concerns and go to longer lengths than most people, thus the blind camera.

So, the real camera I have includes some nice properties that I like.  Some are on the phone but I haven’t used them consistently to know how to put them together with the phone.

I like being able to power the camera up in a moment’s notice.  The optical zoom is convenient for taking pictures with closeups, for example, of kids and an adult.

My sister is a professional photographer so she explained how to use features I didn’t know were there. I’ll get the real manual to learn more.

I like exploring the different options of a technology to see how they work. One feature I’d never used was changing the criteria for light metering. I wanted to take some pictures that were back lighted by a window.  Changing light metering and the manual option let those come out well. It looks like controlling the auto-focus and automatic light metering independently may not be possible.

It would be fun to write reviews for software or devices after becoming an advanced user. My first impression may being unnecessarily negative or undeservedly positive.

Another thing that is nice about the real camera is that I can hand it to someone else. They’ll know right away what to do. I don’t have to worry whether they’ve only used a Windows phone and won’t know how to use mine without some encouragement.

Almost everybody left a little bit ago so I won’t be taking many more pictures.

We’ll head home tomorrow.  First we’ll go to Indy and then Fort Wayne… not the direct route,  but my car is in Indy right now and my sister’s step-grandson needs to be in Indy as well.

This afternoon, my sister left for Cornell to do more research for her history PhD. Part of her studies are about disabilities rights and their evolution. It’s a challenging topic because personal autonomy and desires may not match the expectations of the majority. Most people have their own definition of what is a “valid” life. A doctor or legislator may demand a certain lifestyle as if it was the only one that is acceptable.  On one hand, it is desirable for a person to achieve all that they are capable of, and on the other, a person may choose for themselves to reject that expectation.

It’s so easy to look at a few specific examples of a life and generalize that it applies to everyone.  Life has infinite complexity, so deciding for someone else their needs uses broad brushstrokes. But that ignores the subtleties and nuances where the artist has used the lightest touch… where meaning resides.

IUPUI Capstone

This weekend I went down to IUPUI for the first time.

I’ve been taking LIS classes for a long time, but since they were all online, I didn’t have a need to head down there.

This semester I was had an internship at the Auburn library’s William H. Willinnar Genealogy Center. One of the requirements of the internship is to participate in the Capstone program at the end of the semester.

I got my presentation ready in time for the event and headed down. It was a good experience. I would have liked to have seen what other people had presented, but I didn’t have anyone to spot for me and watch my display so I couldn’t wander off.

I did my best to use some artistic expertise in putting together the display of “Growing a collection through donations and loans.” I had some cream colored cardstock that I put the information on. It took a while to decide what to say and get all of the parts designed and printed up.

I have a bunch of colored paper from the past and I had some that was a nice light green that I put offset from the main text. With the black background of the display, the green really set off the design and made it attractive. I also managed to use color in the text effectively I think. At first I wanted to have a spectrum of colors, but I ended up just using red, blue, green and black which was a lot easier to look at and less busy.

When I got there I felt really inadequate and out of place. Before everything started, I was talking to another Library Science intern who was also there and that helped me feel like I belonged.

One of the people who was taking pictures for the event took several pictures of me talking to people and of the display. Of the people in my room, my material was the most colorful. I’ve been told by family that I’m pretty photogenic, so I hope the photos come out well. Maybe they’ll be up on the Capstone website soon.

I really like the director of the Capstone program. He is really energetic and really funny, in a good way.  I hope I didn’t look like I was laughing at him because I thought he was charming and genuinely entertaining. I couldn’t help but smile while I was watching him in the room where us 4 LIS students were presenting. He showed me his interest in steampunk and his drawings which were a cool surprise.

When I got home, I felt really energized by the experience. I think part of it was being on campus and being around a new group of people.

I had dinner after the presentations with the instructor of the internship, Kym, the department chair, Andrea, and her partner. For some reason, he seemed really familiar to me, but I couldn’t place where. From the conversation we had at dinner, I still couldn’t figure out if I had met him somewhere before and I was too shy to ask.

I’d like to go down to IUPUI more often this semester. I think participating in the university experience in person will enhance my enthusiasm and creativity. Being around other students in person is a lot different then having conversations with them on the course websites.

During the event, I met the professor, Kyle, who is leading my independent study class on privacy. That was nice too. In the past we’d only spoken on the phone or thru email.

For me Capstone wasn’t a high pressure event. However, for all of the other students in the SOIC department, the computer scientists, human computer interaction students, and design students, the Capstone had to succeed or they wouldn’t graduate. For me, it was more an opportunity to promote the library and information science department and try something completely different.

I hope to go to Capstone in the spring as an audience member instead of as a participant. Mathew (the director of Capstone) said there’ll be around 100 Capstones in May. Awesome!