People are afraid of my camera.
It’s large, heavy, and looks expensive. It has a big lens on it. People are afraid of dropping it. You can’t zoom by pressing a button (you have to turn the lens.) People have apparently never used anything but a point and shoot camera.
Most importantly, the image doesn’t appear in real time on the back of the LCD screen – you have to look through the viewfinder to see what you are shooting. This actually inspired someone to say to me once, “How old fashioned – you actually have to look through the hole!” True story. People have forgotten how to look through viewfinders.
I usually don’t ask people to take photos of us anymore. I know what we are going to get – terrible, terrible photos. I did have a point and shoot camera for these types of occasions, but unfortunately it died in Peru when a water bottle spilled all over my bag. I also have an iphone with me, but the quality of images are pretty sub par. So I just put the camera on auto, zoom out the lens to it’s widest capability, turn the camera on our faces and hold it out as far as I can with my arm. The result is the images you see above (and several more that didn’t turn out well.)
A guy in the Blue Mountains saw me doing this and kindly offered to take the photo for us. I mentioned that most people were afraid of my camera, and he kinda laughed. I though to myself, well, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people can figure it out. So I said thank you, and handed it over.
As soon as the camera was in his hands, the guy displayed the befuddled look I’ve become familiar with. I told him to look through the viewfinder. He awkwardly put one hand on each side of the camera (no hand under the lens – photographers everywhere are gasping), pressed his face somewhere nearish to the viewfinder, and pressed the shutter. As he handed the camera back to me he said, sheepishly, “I see what you mean.” The resulting image was terrible.
Self portraits it is.