Aug 14, 2008 General Nonsense |
I just saw the photos from my recent vacation. There were photos of me looking hungry while desperately wishing I were eating instead of posing in front of a table full of delicious food as it got cold and the flies attacked it. There were pictures of me looking at the camera instead of gazing at the breathtaking views behind me. There were pictures of me thirstily posing with my drink instead of drinking it. And there were pictures of me standing in unnatural positions while wishing I could be slouching or sitting. Ironically, we managed to capture all of the moments of the vacation that I wish hadn't happened. Everything that happened just before and just after the camera started flashing was great.

Being the only one in my marriage who dresses for efficiency over fashion, I usually get nominated to carry the camera and the cell phone in my voluminous pockets of my shorts. Add to that my wallet, keys, and maybe some sea shells and you can see the issue. The merchandise bangs against my leg every step. I feel like Rodney King jogging through LA during a hail storm.

For me, posing for pictures is the opposite of being on vacation because getting photographed is part of my job. This afternoon, for example, a photographer will be at my office taking pictures for several hours. When a lawyer goes on vacation he doesn't have to sue someone every time he walks past an interesting landmark. A dental hygienist doesn't have to clean any teeth every time the sunset looks pretty. But I have to pose for a picture, sometimes three. It doesn't seem fair.

One thing you don't want on your vacation is anyone telling you what to do, as in "Stand over there" and "Smile" and "Straighten your shirt so it doesn't look like a food baby." It's more than even Pinocchio would put up with.

I like having photos of my vacations, but there has to be a better way. My proposed solution involves buying stock photos of landmarks and using Photoshop to superimpose stock photos of me looking happy. It's not dishonest if I was actually at those landmarks, and both the landmark and I look exactly the way the photos suggest.

Am I wrong?
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Aug 20, 2008

While taking photographs may be a perceived part of the joy, I'm sorry it is not a requirement, unless you directly tie success on the job to a requirement of the job. To do a job, only the requirements are necessary, doing the job successfully is a bonus, as you have so often pointed out, by your comic strips.

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Aug 18, 2008
scott, i can relate to the "efficiency over fashion" comment - my darling wife managed to get our car & house keys safely into a charity bin earlier this year while we were out shopping, because actually putting the keys into her pocket while she offloaded our stuff into the bin - like, nuh.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 18, 2008
I can solve your probem, Scott.
I'm a professional photographer, even have a legitimate university degree that says so. I also hate posed vacation photos, though I admit to taking a few in the past. But photos of just landmarks without you and the family tend to be a bit sterile and boring (nothing personal).

So, all you have to do is pay me to go on vacation with you. I'll stay well back and get shots of you looking happy while eating, drinking, enjoying the sunset, or whatever (no, not THAT kind of whatever!). Then when you have a huge stain on your shirt or non-matching clothing or a hideous rash from some tropical insect, I'll just Photoshop it perfect. Heck, if you don't look happy, I can even paste in a happy expression. You'll only know I'm there by the distant glint of the telephoto lens...and the bar bill which I'll charge to your room. Problem solved--you get quality photos of your vacation without the agony of posing every 13 seconds.

You'd have to come up with a new blog entry idea, though.
Aug 15, 2008
You're doing it wrong. You said it yourself. What you want pictures of is the food, the drink, the breathtaking view - not the family. Why would anyone want to see a family on vacation - even the actual family isn't interested in that because they knew they were there. Take a picture of the breathtaking view and people will OH and AH and secretly wonder if you really were there, thus making it more interesting. At the same time you and your family will REMEMBER the emotions from the trip instead of seeing yourselves in awkward poses.
Aug 15, 2008
When I said, "get back to work," I didn't mean "get back to being a curmudgeon."

Come on, Scott. You had a vacation/honeymoon that few could afford. Looking at the rates and the airfare, that week in Fiji probably cost you around $25-30K. You said you had a wonderful time, yet one day after you tell us you wept upon leaving, you dig deep to find some fault with it. And of course, it's all about YOU. YOU had to have your picture taken. Oh, poor baby!

Count your blessings, pal. Quit whining. It does not become you.
Aug 15, 2008
next vacation you should have everyone wear a tiny solar powered camera in their hat/hair so it takes continuous footage of what they see...then at the end of the trip edit the footage to get the best shots.
problem solved!
Aug 15, 2008
If you're the one taking the pictures it's much easier to not be in them.
Aug 15, 2008
Back in the old days it was perfectly acceptable for royalty and the rich to have artists paint their portraits with all the sensitivity to improving or !$%*!$%*! minor details that they could manage. I don't see why photographers and digital artists of today should be any more restricted in the application of their art. I almost always take at least two copies of every photo requested, so I can combine them to produce one where everyone has their eyes open etc. I also like to show the photos to the subject and get their comments to help me with making all those minor adjustments. I try to treat the subjects according to their own wishes instead of my tastes as much as possible. ---gk
Aug 15, 2008
The problem with taking photos is that the camera has to be got out, turned on, lifted to the eye.....all indicators that "a photo" is about to be taken and that everyone must prepare themselves....which leads to the staged photos that are the issue.

What I would like is a camera that sits in your pocket or backpack, always on and ready to go. It is attached by fine wire to an independant camera "eye", which is fixed to the side of my glasses - basically a head-up camcorder but that takes stills. Behind the "eye" on the glasses is a "shoot" button - so whenever I want to take picture I just lift my hand to my glasses and the picure is taken. Less "getting ready" signals so you get more natural shots.

Another thought: set the camera to automatically take a shot every five minutes or whatever, so you get truly natural shots of whatever you happen to be looking at.

(Any males who use the auto-shoot feature will need to review the shots taken before the wife gets to see them - or face explaining why they lied every time they said "honey, I never even LOOK at another woman"!)
Aug 14, 2008
Poor Scott! You want some cheese with your whine??

I was wondering anyway why you went to an island full of nature...according to your own books/blog you would feel more comfortable about doing a vacation in a level4 lab or a NORAD like shelter, with filtered air and no germs around you.
Aug 14, 2008
Are you wrong?

Don't ask us - ask Shelley. Haven't you learned anything yet?
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 14, 2008
As for the stock photos, I'm halfway there. I now mostly only take photos with me or my friends/loved ones in it, and skip the pictures of the landmarks and attractions unless they're in the background. Then when I put the photos together to show folks, I just splice in some photos that I find on the web. It's not dishonest (I was really there), and the results are better than I can accomplish. I can even put in photos of places where photography was forbidden. I remember doing this for the Paris Catacombs just recently - someone with a better camera and less regard for the signs got some good shots of skulls.
Aug 14, 2008
oops...just noticed RavenBlack beat me to it.

Atleast, I'm not the only perverted freak now.
Aug 14, 2008
"The merchandise bangs against my leg every step."

well endowed...with merchandise.

Aug 14, 2008
and that's an s h t m l at the end
Aug 14, 2008
Hmmm - what I was trying to say was someone's already thought of it :

www dot thinkgeek dot com slash stuff slash 41 slash dreamphotoframe dot !$%*!
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Aug 14, 2008
I prefer postcards. They have the eyesores pre-airbrushed out of them, or else were taken before the McDonalds was built, the telephone wires went up, the thundering herds of tourists arrived, the original building was bombed into a fine dust by the Nazis, etc.
Aug 14, 2008
Like all your excellent ideas, someone's already thought of !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$
Aug 14, 2008
My wife and I have been backpacking through Europe for 4 months now, and I hate being in photos more now than ever before. I feel like such a fraud, fake !$%*!$ and what not. I much prefer taking the photos than actually being in them. Having said that, I have been developing a holiday photos website, which aids travelers on group tours. If anyone is heading on a group tour, have a look at my site and mention it to your tour guide!
Aug 14, 2008
My wife likes buying postcards -- she figures professional pictures are better than any we could take. We still take pictures, but it relieves some of the stress.
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