A Camera Is Not a Bicycle


“It’s like riding a bicycle!”

What’s that mean? You ought to be able to ride a bicycle even after a long time of not riding one, muscle-memory and all that. Right? I’ll buy it. Our bodies usually do a good job of riding a bicycle once we begin the activity again.

But a camera is not a bicycle.

I learned that the hard way this afternoon when I used a new camera after many years of not doing any serious photography. The camera’s similar to my old one – the one I could use with next to no conscious thought because I’d done it sooooo many times for sooooo many years – but just different enough to make my “muscle memory” choke. If I’d been riding that bicycle I’d’ve toppled over. Very quickly, I realized that my mind wasn’t engaged. I wasn’t thinking at all about ISO or f-stops or even which button to press to change from auto-focus to manual. Every shot I took was bad. They got worse, too, as I went forward. All those years ago what I did was practiced enough that unless something was weird or truly unexpected I could just do it. Autopilot.

Now? I’m scrambling to recall how to perform the simplest photography tasks. Fortunately, the information’s still filed away in my brain and it’s all flooding back to me faster and faster with each lens I pick up and each setting I adjust. ::whew:: Big relief! But I can tell that getting to the place I was before will take a little more time than I thought it would. 

And you know what? I’m enjoying every second of it. I missed playing with light!


5 thoughts on “A Camera Is Not a Bicycle”

  1. I’ve seen people ride really tiny bicycles, but never a camera 😂 Sounds like you’re getting used to it again, good deal! Just remember – increase your shutter speed to freeze the image (or lower it to capture motion); increase your f-stop number (which means ‘close it’) for broader detail (a low f-stop will focus where you indicate, and blur the background); and keep your ISO low in ample light (sunny outside). Have fun, my friend :)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Haaaa!! 🤣 …… Yes! Maybe using a cell phone camera for so long numbed me to how light behaves. Or maybe my brain assumed it was useless info bec I never used it anymore and decided to file it in the “Inactive” mental archives! 🙃It’s all coming back now, tho, just needed a trigger. But I’ll be doing a LOT of bracketing for a while – LOL – Thank you, Phil!!!! 🥰👋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ::runs back:: Phil! Thank you again for the summary of tips – I’ve copied them into a note so they can calm me down when I feel like I’m drowning in buttons & dials!! 🥰👋

    Liked by 2 people

  4. How exciting! It’s great that you are challenging yourself and re-learning, I’m sure you will get right back to where you left off in no time! Just don’t stop, and when in doubt, just ask Phil! 😉😁

    Liked by 2 people

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