Saturday, November 08, 2008

From the archives--no, not of this blog.

I was going to talk about how we went to the symphony tonight and had a lovely time and LEFT OUR CHILDREN ALONE AT HOME WITHOUT A BABYSITTER, thereby saving about $80. But for some reason, I never want to talk about what I've actually done.

So instead, I'll show you some pictures I found in my cell phone.

Now, in order to construct some kind of narrative arc to unite what is obviously a random selection of pictures, I'll pretend to be teaching you how to take better pictures with your cell phone. Assuming you have one. (And who doesn't? Only the Amish and my mother.)

First, I'll teach you how to take a good picture when it's dark, and a brightly illuminated object is moving by you. For example, if you're watching the parade of boats at Chicago's famous Venetian Night:

don't bother.

Guess what? I am equally bad at photographing fireworks, as demonstrated in this photograph:

The trick to taking good photographs of fireworks is to ignore the fireworks themselves. You'll get a much better picture if you just aim your cell phone at the empty night sky and start snapping. Out of the 2,481 pictures you end up taking, one will be amazing. All you have to do then is find it.

When I'm not taking blurry, cornea-searing photographs of dazzlingly bright fireworks because I'm too drunk to remember that all 17 of my attempts will look like shit, I'm getting drunk and taking pictures of my friends' apartments.

Especially of their paintings. I can really see myself in this one. (In case you can't see it, and I don't see why you should, since it's both dim and blurry, I'll tell you that this is a still life of several things--including a vase of poppies. The two lessons we learn from this picture? 1. Incandescent light turns everything yellow, and 2. I am not as funny as I think I am.)

OK, a serious tip for you: natural light is best. This picture of my son's Malayan box turtle was taken on our porch.

I took this almost three years ago, but the colors still look fresh. Also, my, how he's grown! His dog dish is much tighter now.

This is my son being Ben Franklin in the fifth grade play. Wasn't he adorable? (Say yes.) It's possible that he's not as adorable now. For one thing, he's a lot taller than me now. I wouldn't even try to fit him into a dog dish.

Another picture where the lighting cooperated. It's of a haul from a used book store. I order you to be covetous of The American Woman's COOK BOOK. One of these days I'll actually try to learn how to COOK from it. But for now, I'm too mesmerized by the illustrations to read it. The color photographs--which were not taken with a cell phone--have a strange fascination for me. There's something about them ... I've got it! They're in focus!

OK, I saved the worst for last. To my dismay, I've discovered that if I zoom in on anything, I end up with a picture about the size of a postage stamp. A blurry one. But I wanted to try and document that shameless way enormous mutant rabbits are TAKING OVER MY YARD.

If this were Australia, people would be so enraged by the brazen way these rodents are colonizing my yard, they'd be throwing bricks at their laptops. I mean, I drive up and get out of my car, and there they are, gamboling and frisking about like I'm Beatrix bloody Potter in need of a few story ideas. And I know that as soon as I turn my back, they'll be in my rose garden gnawing my prize plants down to sorry little stumps, and, I have no doubt, oppressing the native-born chipmunks and squirrels.

And they're not even scared of me. They didn't even flinch when I took their pictures.

In fact, if you look closely, you can see that they're actually posing.

1 comment:

  1. What is new and enlarged about the cookbook though?

    And I appreciate the difficulty of taking photos with a cell phone - as evidenced by my pics of the Obama banners on Washington Street.


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xxx, Poppy.