February 22nd, 2018
Birdie Butts. Clearly not my intended picture. I tippytoed up to the flock as they were gathered on the green They seemed to be utterly uninterested in my existence which is exactly what I was hoping for. Quietly, I focused the camera on them, centered my shot, placed my finger on the button, and.....About Face.... resultant photo, birdie butts. Dang.
I don't know if it ever happens to you but it happens to me. A lot. Sneak up on squirrel sitting on a branch in a tree munching on an acorn. So cute! The instant my finger moves toward the button, they have dropped the acorn and scampered away never to be seen again. When we had cats, they were famous for starring raptly into the camera lens, not moving a single whisker until my finger hovered over the button then they would smartly turn and I would have a pristine shot of catbutt. No thank you very much please.
My mother was famous for avoiding a camera. The best shots we ever got of her were candid ones where she didn't notice the camera. If she saw one facing her direction she would either turn back to, stare at the ground or leave the room. You would have thought she was in the witness protection program! Camera shy doesn't even begin to describe it!
I know this has happened to my sister too. In fact, at one point she had so many photos of the backs of things that she made an album (before digital cameras when people had actual photographs to deal with). It was called "The Butt Album". It was a photo album dedicated to pictures of the backsides of people, things and places. The photos you didn't intend to take. It was hysterical. And as a collection, quite clever. If anyone in the family found that they had accidentally gotten another hindside photo of anything we would donate it to the case, 'Here is another offering for the Butt Album" we would say.
Nowadays of course, with digital cameras I can just delete any photo I don't like. It's as if it never happened. And believe me, I take plenty of those sorts of photos. The ones I took accidentally inside my pocket which is where I stash my camera (phone) when I'm not using it.. The inside of my pocket is dark and not very interesting frankly. The ones I take, again without intent, of the ground while walking which happens when I'm holding the camera in my hand. The ones that turn out a little blurry because at the last second either me or my subject moved. The pictures where someone is blinking (there is always at least one in any group shot)
None of those shots exist anymore. They just have winked out of existence.
In the olden days, nobody knew what they actually captured on film. You took the pictures and then either developed them yourself or, as most people did, sent them off to be developed. In about a week, after spending the money to have had them processed, you learned that not one doggone picture turned out. Ratz! That has happened to me way too many times. In my head they were all great shots! In reality, crapola. Then polaroid cameras happened. They were awesome. In just a very few minutes after taking a picture, you watched as it slowly, magically, appeared before you on that little shiny, funny smelling square. Sure the colour was never quite right and, as it turns out, those photos fade over the years, but still, it was awesome.
I do love the advent of digital photography, But here is the truth. If you looked through my photos you might think that I was a half way decent photographer. Every single photo is clear, nobody is blinking, they are centered and well composed. The lighting is good, the shadow is interesting and obviously intentional. Impressive. It's all a lie. The number of photos that I delete from every photo session that I do is enormous. Additionally, cameras now have all sorts of way cool thingies that allow you to improve lighting, crop pictures, add special effects. It's awesome. But it doesn't mean that my actually abilities have improved.
And it certainly doesn't change the fact that I have taken far too many unintentional photos of Birdiebutts. I just don't usually keep those. I present to the world only the very best pictures but I wonder if it is a fake reality. Sometimes I think that those terrible photos, the winks and blinks, the butt shots, the faded, sunflared, tattered, pictures are the pictures of the real world. Just as passing thought.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.