Thursday, February 21, 2019

How NOT to Take a Picture

by Marcy Lynne (writer), Southwest Florida, December 20, 2011

Credit: Marcy
He knows if you've been bad or good..

An extreme example of being aware of your background.

This is a quick lessson in photography, under the subhead of "what not to do."

I took this photo, along with many others, in the small town of Albion, New York on "Charles Howard Day" last year. It was a day of festivities and ceremonies honoring one of their hometown heroes, a man who dedicated his life to being an authentic Santa Claus, opening the first ever Santa Claus School right there in Albion in 1937, and appearing as Santa in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for 17 years. He was a real local celebrity, and if you ask any 'authentic' Santa Claus today who Charlie Howard was, I guarantee he'll know. Like asking an Elvis impersonator if he knows who Elvis was.

So, about the photo. There were a whole bunch of Santa Clauses (Claus's ?) in attendance on the courthouse lawn that morning, all in costume, and I was very excited, snapping photos right and left. There were Santas, Mrs. Santas, and elves of every sort. I was having a ball, feeling like a kid again. Snap, snap, snap went the camera.

What I failed to realize in my euphoria of Christmas Past memories, was that the county jail was right next to the court house, and as I snapped my photos, I kept panning left, getting more and more pics of all the Saint Nicks. There was one in particular who was especially authentic, and I kept trying to get a photo of him as he roamed the crowd. I finally had him in my sights as he spoke with some folks, so without taking much time, I snapped.

I really hope you can click on the accompanying photo here and see it in greater detail.

Number one: The subject has turned his head. So I didn't even get his face.

Number two: On this already dreary day, I managed to capture the really dreary jail building in the background of my Santa photo.

Number three: (And this is my favorite part) Look closely at the little circle I have made, and notice that an actual prisoner, COMPLETE WITH STRIPED PRISON PANTS is standing in the doorway with a couple of guards watching the festivities.

Possibly the worst photo I have ever taken. But I came up with a really good caption: "He knows if you've been bad or good."

About the Writer

Marcy Lynne is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on How NOT to Take a Picture

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By Uttam Gill on December 20, 2011 at 11:25 am

Yes Marcy I too observe that...I only can envisage that from his dreary spell of life in jail the sight of Santa would have made him happy…and also to introspect his life…You certainly observe...

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By CuL8R on December 22, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Photography is subjective. I would venture a guess that this might be the only photograph that was worth me seing from your shoot. The content and the irony make it valid as a photograph. Happy pictures of smiling Santas = boring! The way you speak about photography makes it sound like you are an amature giving advice to other amatures. If this is the case, then be careful about telling others what makes a bad photo, when in fact, this is just one opinion. I like this photo for all the reasons you say it is bad. I encourage people to get past making "pritty" images, and creat art that speaks to the viewer. This photo does that. Was the guy in the striped suit naughty? What will he get for Christmas? See what I mean? You should be more open minded, and don't be so hard on yourself when really you just need to learn more about photography and the value of images.

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By Marcy Lynne on December 22, 2011 at 01:36 pm

Dear CuL8R: Thanks, but please note that this article is under the category of HUMOR. In the opening line when I say "this is a quick lesson in photography" that's what we call tongue-in-cheek. I wasn't giving any advice, honey, just having a laugh at myself. Sheesh. I just thought it was a funny, ironic image. Chill.

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By Pelagia88 on June 24, 2014 at 03:43 am

Ok it seems so great sukienka na lato

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