It’s amazing what you find interesting when you are out with a camera:
Posts tagged: funny
It’s great when a couple are game for a laugh. Emily and Simon, the bride and groom from a wedding I shot last week are a case in point. With the weather offering rain, rain, and more rain, I wanted to try to find something alternative for them as a hook for their album, and asked them if they fancied a stint in the sauna… fully dressed. They were keen to give it a go, and yes it was switched on – I was sweating like a pig and I wasn’t even in it!
The Digital Economy Bill is to be debated in the Commons this afternoon, and I suspect its advocates in the House are hoping it can be dealt with swiftly and passed into law before Parliament is dissolved. You can be sure that Blue Filter will be keeping an eye in proceedings and reporting the outcome. In the meantime, if you want a staggering example of why this legislation is so important read Jeremy Nicholls’ highly informative post on the Russian Photos Blog. Really… it defies belief.
I have been aware of the satirical cartoon What The Duck for some time, as it makes its pointed comments about photography. These things, though, have a habit of getting lost in your consciousness, so I am grateful to my Canadian correspondent, Kevin Argue for reminding me about the strip earlier.
I figured it might be nice, from time to time, to embed strips that have a relevance to the preceding posts. If you love photography and have a keen sense of humour, click on the strip to be taken to the What The Duck site and sign up to receive the newsletters and strips.
Here’s the first:
Simon Robert’s latest work continues to attract fans around the world. To update his own posts on the glowing reviews that have marked We English out as one of the books of the year Photo Eye have just published their review of the best photo books of 2009, and We English makes it into the top 10 of three different reviewers: Martin Parr, Andrew Phelps, and Marco Delogu.
However, not all his reviews have been so glowing. “Bollos” on Amazon said it was rubbish, adding, “don’t bother, full of stunningly boring pictures. pretension (sic) title, very poorly executed. mine’s going to the charity shop.” To which a Mr Tim Morris responded: “Please tell me which charity shop your (sic) sending this brilliant piece of work to, I would love to have it, and any over (sic) items that you don’t understand.” All of “Bollos'” other reviews are on bits of IT equipment, so I’m not entirely sure what he was expecting to find in a large format book of photographs entitled We English, but I would not be at all surprised to find he supports a very national British political party, and never bothered to look through the book prior to purchase.
Still, Simon, if success is measured by being either loved or loathed, there appear to be no middlemen for you.
Captions can make or break an image. Consider the following image which was included in a handful of pictures of the year suggestions by various newsmedia:
The BBC ran it with the following caption:
US President Barack Obama warned of “difficult days ahead” in Iraq as US troops withdraw from towns and cities, six years after the invasion. Here a young boy reacts upon seeing his father return from a 12 month tour in Iraq.
The problem – just in case you didn’t spot it – is that if the father has been away for 12 months in Iraq, who, exactly, is “Daddy”?
The photo was taken by John Moore from Getty Images. A fine photojournalist awarded Magazine Photographer of the Year by POYi in 2008. He was the man at the scene when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and his images will be familiar to anyone interested in world events. I don’t know, but I suspect that the caption as published by the BBC was not John’s own, which means that someone at the BBC should probably have been more careful when redrafting whatever the original caption was. Life also ran the picture in their review of the year, but with a different caption:
Ayden Kaplan, 3, spots dad– Staff Sgt. Joshua Kaplan–while standing next to his pregnant mother, Kendra, in Fort Carson, Colorado. Kaplan had just returned from a year in Iraq. Inside Kendra’s hand is an envelope with information on the gender of their unborn baby–she’d held off on opening it so she could find out with her husband. (It’s a boy.)
At least their caption says that the child is her husband’s, although it would still leave people wondering how it could have been possible. So, should Staff Sgt. Kaplan be worried? Thankfully no, as a different image (but clearly from the same sequence) was run by Life in another article with this caption:
FORT CARSON, CO – AUGUST 18: Kendra Kaplan, 5 months pregnant, watches as her husband SSG Joshua Kaplan and fellow U.S. Army soldiers arrive on August 18, 2009 in Fort Carson, Colorado. She had brought a sealed envelope with an ultrasound, so that they could learn the baby’s gender together upon Joshua’s arrival. The Kaplans will be having a baby boy, conceived during Joshua’s mid-term leave in March. Approximately 575 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat team from the 4th Infantry Division returned Tuesday following a 12 month deployment to Iraq. At lower left is their son Ayden, 3.
When the Washington Post ran the picture on August 19 (the day after it was taken) their caption was more careful, and I suspect came from Moore himself:
Aug. 18: Kendra Kaplan, 5 months pregnant, watches as her husband SSG Joshua Kaplan and fellow U.S. Army soldiers arrive in Fort Carson, Colorado. She had brought a sealed envelope with an ultrasound, so that they could learn the baby’s gender together upon Joshua’s arrival.
The question that ought to be pondered here is this: if a picture is supplied to a news or media organisation with a caption, should the organisation have the right to change the caption as they see fit, or should it be standard practice to use the caption supplied? Often the problem lies with the photographers themselves who submit images with very poor captions or non at all. Just because you take photos it doesn’t mean you don’t have to write the odd thing, and learning to do it well will give you much more control over how your pictures are used – and maybe save you the odd embarrassment.
I am a huge fan of Polaroid film, and little would make me happier than to see it rescued – particularly Type 55. But the various attempts to raise it like a phoenix from the ashes of its sad lack of viability in the digital age continue to flounder. So how is this for an unlikely saviour? I hope it works, but the words “straws” and “clutching” come to mind for me – maybe I am just too cynical!
Kevin Argue, a photographer and friend in Toronto, Canada, brought this amusing story to my attention. It just goes to show that cutting staff may save money, but at what expense?
The annual Kinsmen Santa Claus parade in Peterborough, Ontario is a regular if unremarkable event with over 80 floats and various marching bands. This year, a seasoned staffer from the Peterborough Examiner was on hand to photograph the parade, and produced amongst many shots one of the float from a local Catholic High School. This particular float was replete with hot tub and students. As said float approached the photographer, one of the students wearing brightly coloured sports top and checked boxer shorts jumped high with his arms in the air, sending sprays of water in all directions. It made for a lively image, and a definite candiate for publication. And published it was, on the front page, on the Canadian wires, and in a Toronto commuter morning paper. Unfortunately the high school concerned were not best pleased:
Some very red faced people in the newsroom explained that staffing cuts had been to blame for the fact that “Peterborough Pete’s” penis had not been spotted by the photographer or any of the editors on duty, but they tried to pull all the copies from the news stand as soon as it was brought to their attention.
Hmmm. Personally I think it is highly unlikely that a “seasoned” photographer would have missed this when editing his images. Perhaps he was trying to make a point about how bad the staffing issues are in Canada. I know that Kevin would be the first to agree with him if that were the case.
Anyway, thanks Kevin for the pointer. And the moral of the story is: always check your copy, whether written or image, before putting it to bed.
The rivalry has been too serious for far too long! Great to see someone take the mick, and I particularly like the reference to the death of Polaroid: