Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Italian Chronicles - Seconda Parte

At the start of the new year I posted the Italian Chronicles - Prima Parte.  That story was about the joy and exuberance the Italians have for their festivals.

Today, because I'm sick of the fog and want to imagine blue skies and sunshine, I'm going back to Italy, and a story about my camera.  An angst-ridden story about my camera.


When we were in Italy, Alan and I took a great boat trip to Capri one day, wandered everywhere, had a truly great time.  Toward the end of the afternoon, to cool off from the summer heat, we went on a little boat excursion around the Isle.  It was so refreshing to be out on the water, to feel the breeze, to see the island from a different perspective.

It's an amazingly craggy, mountainous place, with these stunning villas tucked randomly along the cliffs.

The geology is ancient, worn and carved from endless centuries of wind and rain.  If you click on this shot to make it larger, you can see a huge space hollowed out of this mountainous crag.

Legend has it that if you pass through this arch and kiss the one you're with, you will have true love forever.

I love Italy.

And now we get to the crux of this post.

Remember my many complaints about the times--for whatever reason--I didn't have my camera?  How I've had to develop a mind album of images because I couldn't take an actual photograph?

I'm in Italy.  I practically had the camera glued to my hand.  I took hundreds of cool, wonderful, exciting photographs.  There was never a time, no matter what we did, that I didn't have my camera.

We're cruising around the Isle of Capri.  The guy piloting our little skiff is telling us to pay close attention when we round this one little peninsula.  If we're truly lucky, we'll see the wild goats of Capri.  Famous for their reclusiveness, it's a rare treat to see them.  I'm ready, camera on, focused, and in my hand.  We come around the bend, eyes scanning the cliffs, hoping we'll be one of the lucky ones.

"There!  On the rocks!" points the Italian guy.  And sure enough, I can see three wild goats.  I quickly snap this shot, then ask the guy if he can get closer, but he tells me no, it's not safe, plus the goats are protected  and can't be disturbed so this is as close as we can get.

Okay.  No problem.  I have a great telephoto lens.  I zero in, find this beautiful black and white goat, center him in the photo, and press the button.

Nothing happens. 

I make sure the camera is on--of course it is, I just took a picture.  I fiddle and dink, but my trusty camera is dead in my hands.  Alan asks me why I'm not clicking with wild abandon, my usual method of picture-taking.  

The boat is moving past the goats now, and I've only managed this one meager photo.  Frantic, I turn the camera off and on, but the damn thing won't stay on.  My heart sinks as I realize the problem.

The batteries are dead. 

Here I am, cruising on the Mediterranean, passing by the famous wild goats of Capri, and even with my camera in my grasp...I can't take the shot.  I hang my head in disbelief.  I've been taking photos with such fervor, for days now, that I didn't even think about the batteries.  My camera can take hundreds of shots before I need to replace them...and apparently I have done just that without paying attention.  Oh crap and damn.

So.  The moral to this story?  It's not good enough to have your camera, you also have to make sure it's going to work.   And always carry spare batteries. 

Still.  All things considered...we were incredibly lucky to actually see the wild goats, even if I only have one sketchy picture to show for it.

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