Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Photos From Hell

I have two photographs that are my absolute favorites and I really badly would like to put them into 8x10 frames.  One is of a hunter rider on her bay horse in a show line up.  She has the most beautiful and sophisticated smile and her horse is exquisite.  The other photograph is a black and white artsy photo of Scrappy begging for food.  I've put in many hours processing both photos to get every effect just right.  Then I uploaded them for a professional lab to process.  Simple enough, right?

Wrong.  When my 8x10s arrived, the heads were cut off!  I was furious until I realized that it was my mistake.  Digital photography is not the same as film.  You can't just ship off the negatives and say, "Make it into an 8x10."

You have to crop the original digital frame to fit an 8x10 frame, then upload it for the lab.  Still, I was angry with the lab for just printing out crap and taking my money.  They should have had the courtesy to at least inform me of my mistake so that I could correct it.  However, in reality a real person probably never even saw my photos.  A machine most likely handled it all.

So, I decided to resize the photographs and print them myself.  I started out by setting the cropping size to 8x10, but the heads were still too close to the edge and a frame would likely partially cover them.  So, then I had to resize to something smaller than an 8x10 to give the images breathing room.  I learned that it doesn't pay to zoom in tight with your camera lens and fill the frame.  It's better to leave empty space around the edges for future cropping.

I then attempted to print the image again.  Mind you, the ink cartridges for my printer cost around $40 each and only last about a month.  That's $40 for black and another $40 for color.  This time I put the photo paper in upside down and the image printed on the back.  I had to throw it out.

I attempted to print the image a third time and this time the printer picked up a piece of paper underneath the photo paper and printed onto it.  Wrong paper -- had to throw it out.  I wrote a note and stuck it to the printer that reads, "PHOTOS:  Remove all paper from tray.  Back side of photo paper up."

If I don't write notes like that to myself, I will make the same mistake over and over.  I attempted to print the image a fourth time and finally got it perfect.  I set it on my desk, started printing the second photo, and quickly took Scrappy for a walk.  When I returned, I found that Midge had jumped up on my desk to watch us through the window, and she messed up my perfect 8x10!  Another one in the trash.

I pulled the other photo out of the tray hoping for something I could salvage, and the printer ran out of black ink.  Half the black and white photograph was in red.

When I have that much bad luck it makes me wonder if I should even bother to stay on this career path.  I've had a number of absolutely ridiculous things happen to me regarding my efforts to start up this photography business.  Pretty much everything I have ordered over the Internet for my studio has been delivered with some kind of problem.  Then I have to decide whether to take the loss or waste hours of my time trying to correct the problem.  Usually, I just take the loss because I am way too busy to be spending such a huge amount of time fixing unexpected problems. 

I really need things to go like clockwork or we're going to run out of money and I'll have to go out and get a job in my old line of work, which nearly killed me thanks to the unreasonable level of stress.  Every time I take two steps forward, I somehow create new problems that send me four steps back.  My To Do List is getting longer instead of shorter despite me moving as fast as I can to complete things.  I'm so paranoid now that I won't cross anything off my list until I am 100% sure it is completed to my satisfaction and is not going to get struck by lightning anytime soon.  It's to the point where I expect something to come flying out of left field and destroy all my hard work.  This has happened literally every time I have attempted to start my own business.

I'm not saying that everything should be easy and handed to me on a silver platter, but it would be nice if the level of outright lousy luck could be pared down to something more average and manageable.  If I were a millionaire, I'd probably have a much better attitude and respond by saying something like, "Oh goody!  I made a mistake.  Now I can learn from it.  I'll just go to the store and buy another $80 in ink cartridges and hopefully get it right sometime in the next twenty tries."

"Three lame horses?  No problem.  I'll just buy another one to ride and tell the vet to put all his care on my tab."

You get the idea.  Problems take time and money to solve, and I'm not terribly well endowed in either department at the moment.  Anyway, since these two photos appear to be cursed, I'm just going to abandon them and work on taking new pictures that are better.  Pray that my camera doesn't spontaneously combust.  Actually, don't.  Don't even have the thought, because I've learned that the universe doesn't hear "do" or "don't".  I have this phrase I say all the time:  "That's exactly what I was trying to avoid!"

For instance, if I set a tray of paint in an out of the way location in order to avoid stepping in it, that's a guarantee that I will step in it, simply because I had the thought that I should move the tray so that I won't step in it.   I guess the lesson here is that I have to only think about what I want to happen and stop thinking about what I don't want to happen, because once I think about what I don't want to happen, I've put the thought out there for the universe to chew on.  Even if I take measures to prevent it, it'll still happen because I thought about it.

You can tell yourself you are brushing and flossing because you don't want cavities, and guess what?  You still get cavities.  The trick is to tell yourself you are brushing and flossing because you like to have a clean mouth and fresh breath.  You have to ignore cavities as if they don't even exist.

Oh no, now I'm on a tangent and I'm going to have to start a new label on my blog called "philosophy".  And since this is a horse blog I have to somehow tie my rant into horses.  Okay, here goes....  Let's tell ourselves we will ride like the wind with glue stuck between our butt and the horse's back, and the horse will respond happily and willingly to every thought we think.  Just make sure we keep our thoughts on only what we want.  No fear.  No worries.  Just visualize that glue and the perfect ride.

In the meantime, while my horses are recovering and the ground is drying out, I'll be visualizing my studio lights and backdrops arriving in perfect condition, exactly what I wanted, easy to operate, and as soon as I get them set up, the customers start calling and booking appointments.  So what if the two photos from hell aren't on display for everyone to see?  Better photos will be taken someday.  Hopefully by me.  Gotta be specific in those visualizations.  ; )


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Here's hoping all goes right from now on. I was hoping to see your two photos...

fernvalley01 said...

Arrgh! Very frustrating ! But you arer on to something there NM.Ask for what you want , not what you don't want .I worked with a Psychologist who was always complaining that when she ordered a burger all she wanted was burger,bun cheese,and a pickle .So she would say cheeseburger no ketchup ,no mayo etc .I told her just ask for a cheese burger with a pickle and viola! thats what she got.Sometimes I think we want something so badly we forget to keep it simple.You take wonderful pictures and I do hope things come together for you soon. My other saying to add to your positive visualisations and such , "when you ask ,ask like you already know the answer is yes! " good luck and hugs to you

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Fantastyk - Are you kidding? I don't want to touch those two photos with a ten-foot pole ever again. If I tried to upload them to the blog, something would go wrong. Either that or people would start criticizing the photos, which would just discourage me further, because I thought they were two of my best.

fernvalley01 - Yeah, when you say "no this and no that" all people hear is "this and that". When I set up appointments I used to say "I'm available any day but Tuesday" and inevitably the person would set up an appointment for me on a Tuesday, because that's the only word they heard. So, I started saying any day is fine, then I would send them energy that said "Wednesday" and they'd pick a Wednesday.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I can see you know the power of "the secret". Send positive vibes and expect only the best back. I try to follow this mantra but sometimes I fall short from my own negative energy.

Breathe said...

You know, this was actually brought up in the clinic I was in.

Mark spent time with Patricia, who was working on softening with her mare. But all she could see was what the horse wasn't doing.

Don't look for what you don't want - or that's all you'll find, he said. Look for what you want. It'll take a while to get it, but at least you'll see glimpses of it as you get closer.

Here's something Mark said that cracked me up when Patricia was focused only on what her mare wouldn't do: "When the mule flies, we don't complain when it doesn't stay up long."

You had two great photos. That is an accomplishment right there. They remain great photos. Cut yourself some slack, and keep your eyes on the goal of a full appointment calendar. And we'll send you tons of positive thoughts for fuel!

Go Nuzz!

Reddunappy said...

Our printer does the same thing, if you want to print photos you have to put one sheet of photo paper in at a time or they all stick together. Not just the ink! that darn photo paper is expensive too!

Anonymous said...

Feel your pain on the photos and the cost of ink! I found a site www.inkjetsuperstoreinc.com that has good prices and I've been pleased with their product.

Andrea said...

Girl, you need to email me so I can tell ya about labs and how to upload. You don't have to precrop, that's a lot of added extra work! I mean you can if you want to, but it's an added extra pain in the rear! I can also tell ya bout different labs and which ones I've found to be good. I had an extra hand in a photo the other day and the lab called me. It sounds like you don't have a very good lab. My images are looked at before they are sent for processing by the lab. So, don't fret, it just sounds like your lab might suck! But shoot me an email, I'll give you some helpful information.

Andrea said...

Oh, and I was like you at first too! My "To Do List" was so long and I would freak out and think it would never get shorter! But now it's a lot shorter and it does get done....eventually!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks Andrea. I didn't want to bother you because I know you've been so busy.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

No Fear. No Worries.....Now who says that, Mate?

I used to try to print my photos at home, but I have no luck with printers and those at home pics end up more expensive than the professional printed ones.

Sure hope your luck turns around soon.
Have you ever read or watched *The Secret*? Trust me. Go rent it or read it. It's life changing and lines up with the philosophy you just wrote about.


Callie said...

Yikes! Frustrating!

Qasar said...

You're not wrong. I sometimes think that it's worth just
getting a new printer every year!
Printer ink

achieve1dream said...

I have heard that positive thinking works, so it's worth a shot. It is a difficult habit to build though if you are used to seeing the bad in everything like I am. I hope you get the hang of it soon and things turn around. I have problems with the way I phrase thoughts because I always want to think "I am not sick to my stomach" instead of "I feel healthy and calm and happy". It's hard, but I'll keep trying because thinking healthy thoughts supposedly and help you get healthy. It's what I'm counting on anyway.

Sorry for rambling. :)

Rising Rainbow said...

Resizing or sizing, whatever, photos for printing is something I haven't figured out but I do FINALLY have my printer figured out for printing off pics on it. Won't tell you how much paper I wrecked in the process but I did find out not to leave any regular paper in there AND I'd probably add to you note to remember to take any photo paper you didn't use out of the tray and reinsert regular paper. Can you tell I've made that mistake too. Ya gotta love an email printed on photo paper, don't ya think? LOL

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Rising Rainbow - Ha ha! It's good to know I'm not the only one who has been run through the mill on that subject. I did remember to take the photo paper out of the printer, but forgot to put the letter paper back in, so I got the paper tray empty error the next time I needed to print.