Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Update On My Camera & My Sister

I promised that I would get off the stick, and format my new digital camera, so that I could take some pictures of the autumn foliage, here in the Virginia piedmont. The trouble was the CD that came with the camera would not play on my computer, and no manual was provided in the package. After many frustrating attempts to get the CD to play I was at my wit's end. Then Caroline, sweetheart that she is, emailed me, and asked for the make and model number of my camera. I gave her that information, and the next thing I know, she emails me a pdf file, containing the instruction manual for my camera, complete with detailed instruction on how to format the memory card!

I followed the formatting instructions, and then tried the camera, but I still kept getting a message saying the card was full. I was afraid that either I had somehow damaged the memory card, or that I received a faulty card when I ordered it from WalMart. Then I remembered seeing memory card installation instructions, closer to the beginning of the pdf file, so I scrolled back up to them. The file is complete with instructional diagrams, and one of them showed how to install the memory card. I opened the memory card port and removed the card, and suddenly realized I had inserted the card in upside down! Hey! Not my fault! No instructions came with the camera, and I had never used a digital camera before. I flipped the card over, reinserted it, and heard a distinctive click as the card's contacts seated themselves in the jack. I remembered that hadn't heard that click when I first installed the card. I then closed the door on the memory card port, turned the camera back on, and reformatted. I took a picture to test it out, and voila! I now have a working camera! Thank you, Caroline!

I drove into town this afternoon to see my sister, and took a few shots through the windshield, while driving down the highway, and a few more, when I got into town. I wasn't thrilled with the way they looked on the monitor. I'm going to have to play around with it for a while, to see if I need to make adjustments for lighting conditions, because the colors didn't seem as intense as they should have. It seemed to do better in shade than in bright light, so maybe I'll have to compensate for that somehow. When I get the hang of it, I'll see about posting some pictures here.

My sister is doing very poorly, but that's to be expected. She has been in a lot of pain, so they have her on heavy doses of morphine. When I went in to see her today, she was lying with her eyes closed. I said hello to her, and gently stroked her head. She opened her eyes, but she didn't look at me, or make a sound, she just stared off into space. I continued to stroke her head for a while, then kissed her on the cheek and let her go back to sleep. The poor baby. Her life force is slowly, but inexorably draining away. When I got there, my brother-in-law was taking an uncharacteristic late afternoon nap. I think he's exhausted by it all. I hate to say we are all looking forward to the end, but it will be a blessing for her, and relief to everyone else.

Melissa XX


Lucy Melford said...

Waiting for the end. Yes, it comes down to that eventually. I hope she passes away peacefully and without anything troubling her. And I hope your grief will not be too unbearable.

Glad to hear that the camera is up and running. As soon as I realised you had help, I wasn't going to chip in as well. It's imposible not to be successful with modern cameras once you've mastered a few basic techniques. And if you want inspiration, then there's billions of photos on Flickr. Just search for 'autumn leaves' for instance. I don't find it difficult to churn out nice pictures every single day throughout the year - I see shots to take everywhere I go. I suppose it helps if you're 'visual', and like to document and illustrate your life, but you don't need to be an artist. Good luck!

Stephanie said...

When my mother was passing from cancer, they put her on a high dose of morphine. I visited when I thought she was out and couldn't hear me since she wouldn't respond. But about 8 days into the morphine she awoke and told me she remembered me being there. Talk to your sister, she hears you when you think she can't.
And a special hug to you!


Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say you and your sister are in my thoughts.