Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DEAR BUGGERS WITH A CAMERA

It's exhilarating when you get a camera, isn't it?

"Now I can join the likes of by posting kickarsefull photos on Facebook and getting Likes by hot lady friend of friend of friend who came with me for the trip." and "Now I can haz low light low ISO low f-stop pwnage too!" are thoughts not alien to those who have just spent some of their hard-earned kachingas on a new image-capturer-and-recorder.

Little did the gentleman in the 1980s (who had a look at his skyrocketing film development costs and while pondering over them, fell over a set of floppy disks only to have a total Eureka! moment) forsee the internet explosion, which allows anyone (and their uncle, and their uncle thereon) to upload personal digital photos. The easy accessibility of a camera and online storage proved to be a potent combination.

A topic that she has already briefly touched upon.

You see, SLRs were supposed to be for the creme-de-la-filme - only the best of photographers should have them. But digital photography changed all that. Now every bugger (like me) who has a spare 30,000 bucks can buy one. And, usually when too much technology is brought into the hands of an audience which might be financially equipped but not skilfully so - it leads to a certain amount of disparity. Imagine if the Indian cricket team started deciding teams by a first-come-first-serve method (might not be a bad idea right now, come to think of it, actually).

Anyhow, it is because of this that it's typically with a sense of dread that one opens a link that a friend has sent you, of his/her vacation. You feel guilty that you didn't read said friend's last blogpost when you were coerced to gently using Google Talk before you managed to hit the 'appear invisible' option, so you decide to press play on the pornographic TED talk video that you were engrossed in, and click the Picasa link.

Horrors.

The first five lines (line segments, technically) consist entirely of leaves. And trees. And a cluster of trees. Here is the enthusiastic globetrotter in his now-I-am-going-to-take-the-kickarseest-set-of-photos-ever phase, and proceeds to click everything in sight. Most people fall into fatigue after half an hour, but not your friends.

Then there are various poses of himself. In particular, a set of him in various poses of posing for the same pose, if you know what I mean.

Every touristy thing (monument, famous tree, building, painted Harley, ex-cricketer) is shot from all possible angles, and, much in the hope that Google will come out with a 3D modeling extension for Picasa one day, leave them all on the album.

And holy rebeccablackamoley, this is just page 1 of 3. Groan.

So, enthusiastic photo uploader, here are a few pleas, on behalf of the entire online community:

1. Noone has time to sift through 300 photos of a place he or she doesn't give a rat's ass about. If someone is really interested in what monuments in Jaipur look like, chances are, a search will be conducted. Cut ze crap. Be ultra-critical of your photos and put in only absolute winners in your mind. I know my own work is a poor barometer, but when I go for a concert, I usually take around 600 photos, and only around 20 make it to Facebook.

2. An entire vacation (or concert) on one Picasa page would be nice. Even the staunchest of friends are unlikely to click on  every photo. They'll sift through the lot, click about ten that really catch their fancy, drop in a few comments and proceed on with the TED talk video. We don't live in an age where people are going to comment on the bokeh and depth-of-field of each pic. Do not unleash unto thy audience what you wouldn't like unleashed unto thyself.

3. Label. Please, please, please. Imagine you've taken an incredibulobulous snap of that ancient statue of a Mughal emperor in Nashik but haven't bothered to label it. As the Local Tea Party is wont to say, what you think your friends are so jobless so they will do Google image mapping for each and every photo of yours?? Labeling is a good habit, and will help you cut down on needless photofat as well (Check out Mahesh's photos of his recent England trip - captions bring to life the personal experience).

4. Get out of automatic mode, yo!

You have a powerful weapon in your hands. Using it moderately and carefully are likely to give you the best results.

I'm talking about your camera, of course. Hyuk.


3 comments:

Swamy Saran Atul said...

Remember the troubles Athan Hunt had to go through to fight the Chimera virus in MI-2? Do a Dan-Brown Factor Analysis. The mythical Chimera monster has stayed with us forever. "Camera" is but a way of obscuring its hideous roots. Shudders.

Abhishek said...

Not if the photos involve a presentable female human form. Then no number of photos are sufficient for the intellectual voyeur. Grins.

vadakkus said...

Naish. Something I always wanted to write about. Now let me go back to that ahem, TED talk video. :D

Something I absolutely do NOT do: Post pictures of myself posing.