Shutterbug Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 4,882 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—6,641 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life 

For this week’s Each Other/Farmgirl Shutterbug Merit Badge, I was pretty thrilled to finally take my Christmas gift from Gramma Barbie out of the box. That’s right. It’s been sitting there, collecting dust, the owner’s manual staring up at me, for quite a few weeks now. What is it, you ask?

Why, a camera, of course!


But not just the camera of my youth, you understand (which was a plastic Rainbow Brite 35 millimeter), or even the camera of Gramma Barbie’s youth (a whirring Polaroid that could spit out instant pictures instantly). This is a *overwhelmed gasp* DIGITAL camera. With like, forty-eleven buttons, none of which make any sense to me. (Seriously. None. I can’t turn the thing on.)

Now lest you think, my dear peeps, that I have no photographic evidence of my own existence or the existence of my friends and family for the past 10 years since my Rainbow Brite camera gave up the ghost (may it rest in peace), I do, in fact, know how to use the camera on my phone. They aren’t exactly the best photos in the world, yes, but at least I have Midge’s triplets’ first birthday, and my beauty school graduation, and images of my chickens as sweet little fluff balls. I do kinda wonder what happened to 2003-4, but evidently there was nothing photo-worthy in those years.

SOOO, enough excuses! Onto the owner’s manual we go. This is where your high school French/Spanish/Chinese will come in handy. Just kidding. They have English, too … somewhere … Megapixels, High Resolution, Digital Image Stabilization, ISO … I think this is English?

First, I had to learn about some things like memory cards and where to put the batteries. Done and done. Then I really settled in and started learning what my handy-dandy, nifty, SAWEET little piece of technology could do.

I totally think I could program this puppy to do my dishes. I think Gramma bought me a robot.

But how do I just, you know, take a picture?!

Patience, grasshopper, the owner’s manual crooned at me. Teach you, I will. Wait. Was my camera previously owned by Yoda?

I learned about Blink Detection (very cool, but what about taking a picture?). I learned about shutter speeds (uh huh, neato, but can I take a picture now?). I learned about light sensitivity, nightscapes, portraits, and macro (BUT I WANNA TAKE A PICTURE!)

My evening twilight was escaping, my hair was wilting, and even Toile, my ever stage-hungry chicken, had wandered off. I had planned a whole photo shoot with just us two, and I even had a fan ready for that ever-popular, wind-blown look all the big-cheese photographers use, but I still had yet to take a single shot. I was missing Rainbow Brite. This stuff was complicated.

Finally, about six million pages in, my patience was rewarded! (Did you just mutter, what patience?! Hey, now. Have some sympathy for this tech wannabe!)

I finally got to shoot my first picture. It was absolutely stunning.

At least, I think it was. Yoda hasn’t taught me how to view it yet.

Also, it’s possible I’m stuck in movie mode and just recorded a half hour of myself grooming Toile.

Until next time, shutterbugs!

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