I wrote yesterday about the inanity of the media focussing on a photo of a baby and its parents (obscenely and excessively privileged ones posing as middle-class).
Now, some are writing about and criticizing the quality of the photo, allegedly snapped,, by the grandfather of the baby (a nouveau riche bloke, whose house is now protected by more police than the prime minister's).
I am certain that this uproar is caused by “professional” photographers and paparazzi, who dislike being unable to sell photos of this popular baby/couple. I do not recall any criticism of grainy photos of the mother, who was caught sunning herself topless in South France. Some complained about violation of her privacy, not photo quality.
I wonder if this is a case of double standards...
I am certain that I have missed many opportunities to take interesting photos, but I recall only one. I was in Zurich with my daughter, who was around five at the time. With time to kill, before we had to catch the train to the airport for the flight home, we strolled to the lake. A swarm (I can think of no better word to describe a whole bunch of these pests) of pigeons congregated on the pavement beside the lake. As my daughter approached, they flew up and created a curtain with the lake and opposite shore visible through openings. I was reminded of viewing a scene through lace and regretted not having my camera to capture that motif.
What do you do, when progress makes cherished belongings obsolete? Makers of buggy whips are no longer around to ask, but there are parallels.
For many years, I used a Nikon SLR camera to photograph whatever I chose to capture. When it was stolen, I bought a better model. Unfortunately, this was shortly before digital photography killed the film industry. My fine camera—a fine piece of engineering and workmanship—gathers dust. Even Ebay cannot help, because no one want to buy an anachronism, of which thousands like mine also gather dust…or worse.
I now use a digital SLR, which works as well or better than my dust collector. I appreciate the advantage of being able to take hundreds of photographs, knowing that one or two might be good. And, I can check the result immediately pushing the shutter release and fiddle with the result on my computer. Before, I could take 36 exposures…and not learn the result—or failure—until weeks later. I am happy to take the bad (having spent money on a camera, which lies unused in a cupboard and is of no value, despite its high price) with the good, which comes with progress.
Of course, I have my phone in my pocket for what used to be called "snap shots".
This is the dumbest photo I have ever taken...
Can you guess the motif?
Don't even try.
This is a photo of the inside of my pocket!
Have you ever heard anything so absurd?
I put my iPhone in my pocket, after taking a real photo. Because I had not switched off the bloody thing and touched the shutter release, the damn thing made a photo of my pocket.
Sorry, but I felt compelled to share my foolishness. I would have preferred to add something interesting to the "Artsy Craftsy" category, but there is no "art" and no "craft".
One aspect of modern life, which please me, is the advance in photography. Since I bought my first camera on my second trip to Germany in 1967 (a Voigtlander), I have been in the practice of taking many photos. In the old days, a film had 24 or 36 exposure. One never knew, if a photo was good or not, until the film was developed. Because of the expense, one was--hopefully--selective in choosing a motif.
The arrival of digital cameras has been a boon for shutterbugs. One can take (almost) endless photos...and see what they look like. If not good, one can try again. Perhaps, one takes too many, but the chances of one good one are greater is one takes a bunch. Instead of 36, one takes several hundred...downloads the results to a computer...erases the chip...and starts again. So far, I have taken over 1000 photos and do not have to worry about development costs or lack of success. Most, if not all, are rather good.
Tune in next week for several galleries to illustrate various posts...
The fool on the hill sees the sun going down...
Or rather saw...
One could argue that this is not a sunset. Is there even a scientific definition of beginning and end of a sunset? But, in my defense, I am on a hill and the sun is going down. And, it's a nice photograph...almost in the artsy-craftsy realm, if I do say so myself. And, I was certainly a fool: a friend and I were on our way to Zurich to knock on the door of Swissair and ask if they were hiring foreign pilots. Now, that's foolish. (We were informed by a surprised concierge that Swissair might consider hiring foreigners as baggage handlers).
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.