Thursday, January 27, 2011

Worth 1000 Words

Photographs. Pictures. Pics.

Back when Dinosaurs ruled the earth, someone invented the camera. First known as camera obscura, cameras were used to capture light. Light is bright. Now cameras are used to capture people...not as bright. Early photographs were pictures of life, God's paintings. It was a rare thing to see a photographer, or a photograph. Later, as the earth grew out of the Cretaceous period of life, cameras became more accessible. Polaroids allowed amateurs to snap photos at random and print them instantly. Kodak had their disposable cameras (which I still love to death). Soon everyone was taking pictures of everything! Now we have digital cameras which allow us to photograph ourselves on our best days and send them to millions of people. It's cheaper in the long run, and if you mess up, so what?

Now cameras are used everyday by even the least experienced people out there. It's a great idea, really. Snap a few photos at a party at school, post them on facebook so mom can see. Put them in little digital albums with titles like "College fun!" or, the increasingly popular title, "album name." It's in these albums that we can take a very tiny peek into someone's life.

Of course, we can't actually tell what's going on. We can only see the person, because, after all, it is their album. Most times we end up with photos like this:

"At Costco!"

"Driving"

"Best time eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

"soooooo coooooooooool"

"Sledding is so much fun!"
If you're posting these for your mom, she'll love them! If you're posting this for posterity, try using something called a printer. If you're posting these to show all of your friends how much fun you're having at school, then maybe you should actually do things at school instead of smile in facebook poses...

That's only the first group of facebook photographers. I call the next group "shoppers." (Or annoyances):





These are usually followed by comments such as "Oh my gosh! You're such a great photographer!" or "Wow! You're so talented!"

I'm not sure I can describe how frustrating that is. People like this go out with their little point-and-shoots, set to automatic, and snap away. Then they take them into photoshop (which is a silly product to own if you can't use it properly) and change them entirely. They crop them and probably wonder what the little grid is supposed to mean. They add filters and words and more filters. They "fix" all their problems by blowing out the messy parts or using sharpening masks.

There are really no words to describe how annoying this is. There are people out there who spend hours and years and decades mastering light to get the perfect shot the first time. They don't get the credit they deserve because snap shots and photoshop are ruling the world. Just because you can push a trigger, doesn't make you a good photographer.

That was a bit off track, I was actually going to say that it would be a good idea to take more than facebook shots and photoshopped images. As people flip through your photos, instead of thinking "oh, look at her face again." or "hey, that's a really low cut shirt." they'll think "Oh, that looks like a lot of fun! Who knew longboarding down a mountain would look so sweet!" or "Whoa! I'm jealous of her adorable apartment!"

I think I've gone through a dozen or so albums where there were 200 pictures of just them standing there smiling. Or the picture was from above and I could see clearly down the girl's shirt. Not exactly something I wanna see.

Okay, I have PMS. I'm leaving for now. Adios

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