The secret is out!
I get asked fairly often how do I manage to get good shots of some of my subjects. I usually respond with such mundane and arcane answers involving experience, practice, patience, and skill. If my tormenters are persistent I’ll throw out f-stop/shutter speed ratios or hit them hard with depth-of-field. By the time I’m about 45 minutes into the answer I notice eyes are glazed over and there are frequent glances at watches. By now I know I’ve won and my secrets are safe with me.
How to make eyes glaze over and change topics – recite exposure charts.
But yesterday I was caught. And it is just matter of time before CNN picks up on the story and the whole world knows. I was out looking for a shirt at my secret location – after all it is all about looking good while pretending to know what one is doing. But an ever-observant spy, masquerading as a sales clerk, noticed my camera over my shoulder. I thought being so open in such a touristy spot would be safe. But the technophile noticed it right away and exclaimed, “that camera must take some great pictures”. Damn! What do I do?! I thought to feign a heart attack to distract her. Maybe I could throw up my recently consumed onion rings and famous burger then flee. No, I could tell she was on to me. I tried tell her that it was I that take great pictures before asking if the sexy tank top I was holding came in extra large. Did the distraction work? Don’t think so. I’ve been up all night and just now came to the conclusion that no, the story will break, I must confess on my own terms.
The camera that takes great shots relaxing on a beach.
So, yes, it is true. The camera takes great pictures. The reason I manage to get some good (not convinced anything I have is great yet) photos is that I have a special and secret relationship with Nikon. I have access to gear that no one else (well except for maybe a couple other top shooters) can get a hold of. Usually these types of business arrangements are handled by non-disclosure agreements. But in my case things are so exclusive that we don’t even want the lawyers to know about them. Come on, everyone knows you can’t trust lawyers. To protect Nikon from prying investigations by the SEC, Tokyo Exchange, and maybe even Canon, I use intermediaries at off-shore island companies. Granted, Manhattan is not that far off shore but…hey those people in the Bahamas are really busy with their umbrella drinks and snorkeling. I use the mask of the internet to call up my agents at Adorama and B&H and give them a special code. Highly encrypted by 16 digits as well as other hidden symbols I manage to trade this code for a plain brown box that arrives a few days later.
What cameras do when they are not taking great shots – sit back, enjoy a cold one, and enjoy the scene.
It used to be that I all I had to do was walk into some tropical forest and point my camera and any lens at a subject and great pictures would come out – well after I dropped off countless hundreds of rolls of Fuji Velvia – at (sob – closed) New Lab. But technology advances forward. It is true the camera takes great pictures. Just the other month I packed up the camera and sent it off to some foreign destination. A couple weeks later it had returned loaded with great pictures. All the while I was busy doing some repairs on the house. I even get the frequent flyer miles the camera racked up!
The camera prepares for its next great adventure while the author wastes time in front of the television.
So that’s it. It’s the camera. Yeah, I also have lenses that can do some amazing things. I recently took some pictures of Jupiter. That’s Jupiter the planet. Which, the last time I checked, was farther away than our moon. Space stuff you know. Ok, the camera and the lens did it. And the animals? Well, I won’t tell too much now but lets just say I use an agency. Kind of like Elite Models or Ford Models for frogs. I call them up, and tell them the species I want to shoot. I send my camera and lens out to some exotic fancy location and bam! Photos come flying back. I mean sometimes dealing with the attitudes and requirements of diva frogs and snakes makes me ask is it all worth it but in the end I keep at it. I have to do something while I spend the weekend in the yard whacking away at the weeds. Now if I can only find a computer that will write and post this stuff for me.