Thursday, February 18, 2016

Seven Funny Things to Tell a Photographer

How about something light for today? I put together a list of the 7 funniest things I have ever been told as a photographer. Photography has become a very common hobby, and owning and operating an SLR camera is not as an arcane knowledge as it used to be in the film days. Still, there are many of us who can get...shall we say, confused. :)

"Wow, that's a really cool lens. Is this what they call a 'pancake'?"

So, without further delay, here's the countdown:

7) A Drawer Full of Memory Cards
I was chatting with a guy about digital versus film (that was in the early days of digital photography, early 2000's). He had just bought his first digital camera and he said: "It's practical, I like it. But the memory card fills up quickly, and they're expensive". Yep, you guessed that right. He thought that once the memory card is full, you can't erase the photos and you have to buy a new memory card.

6) A-Aliens
This was something I was told online, so I can't vouch it wasn't a trolling attempt. But it seemed so unsophisticated that I felt the user really did believe what s/he was saying (see Poe's Law, by the way). That person insisted that all new cameras come with a hidden retinal scan device in the viewfinder, that works together with the WiFi/GPS module to send data to... well, somewhere. The camera is shooting, but there's nobody behind the lens...

They use WiFi, man; and GPS, man; they're scanning our retinas, man. Who? A-aliens...

5) It's not a Pancake, It's a Croissant
I was taking photos at a park, and I was in the process of swapping between two lenses. As it was windy and a bit dusty, I placed the body cap on the camera to protect the sensor (I usually don't bother). It was one of those semi-transparent covers. As I was fumbling with my bag trying to return one lens there, uncap the other, and all those things, a guy happened to pass by. "Wow, that's a really cool lens you have there", he said,  "Is this what they refer to as a 'pancake'?" Err... No, but the Nikon Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 isn't much better either, so close enough grandpa.

4) Let's make a Quadipod
I was at the same park (but in another occasion), taking photos using a monopod. Someone passing by commented: "This isn't very handy, you need to hold on to it all the time. Buy a tripod". Trying to remain calm, I said "Well, this is easier to carry". The guy smiled and said "But three is better than one". I just smiled and remained silent, wanting to get rid of him. He did leave, but then I realized, this guy was on to something. A tripod with four legs should then be even better, right? And a great marketing idea, too. Unless of course someone comes up with one that has five legs.

Two quadipods for sale. They double as bar stools, too.

3) Persecutory Delusions
I was near a lake, taking photos using an infra-red filter. Somebody who happened to be there, got upset because he thought I was photographing him.I made the mistake of saying I was just taking infra-red photos of the lake. He mumbled: "F** pervert, taking nude photos of people", and hurriedly walked away. O-okay...

2) Wps - Words per Second
In terms of how funny this was, it should've been #1. But alas, I can't properly convey its absurdity, because it was based on the sheer length of the discussion. I had woken up early, planning to go to the lake and take some nice early-morning photos of ducks resting on the ice. It was a lovely, crisp dawn. Nobody was around. I took my D700 out of its bag, attached the 70-200 on it, and waited for the birds to start doing funny things. Not two minutes later, a guy walking his dog came near me.
- He talked about how much he loved photography.
- He talked about the weather - and did I know how cold it could get near the water? Once when he was twenty...blah blah...and another time...blah blah
- He talked about his wife, and how they would soon travel to Spain. Had I ever been in Spain? Well, the best restaurant of Madrid is blah blah...blah...blah blah...
This went on for twenty minutes. At some point I gave up trying to take photos. It took me another ten minutes to finally find a chance to say "Gotta go". Sheesh!

1) The Power of Fries Compels You!
What is it with people wanting to give advice to a photographer? Have you ever seen someone trying to tell a street musician how to play a chord? Then why does something like this happen: I was preparing my setup for a live music gig. The club was still empty, it was just the band doing soundcheck and me (together with a couple of club technicians). The vocalist came to talk with me at some point, and asked whether we could also take a couple of "soft focus"-like shots. I was about to tell him that no worries, this can happen in post, too, when one of the technicians thought to offer his unsolicited advice: "I've read you can rub some vaseline on the front of the lens to achieve the same effect". I was so shocked that I didn't even have time to reply, as he went on: "I don't know if we have any in the closet, but maybe we could use some butter, it should be the same thing". Great idea, Einstein, we can then deep fry the lens if we get hungry.

Have any funny stories of your own to share? Use the comments below, or post it on Amateur Nikon's Facebook Page!

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