Dec 21, 2007
New Rules 2008
If you call my house, you must reveal your name in the first 5.6 seconds. If Oswald can get off 3 shots, surely you can extend me the courtesy most 4-year-olds possess.
No more asking me if I have my Optima/AirMiles/IrrelevantExpress Card. If I’m too stupid not to claim the immense riches offered by these world-class philanthropists, I obviously don’t deserve them.
If you send out a Christmas newsletter, you are hereby obliged to include three negative details about your year. I don’t care that Kaitlin went to the Royal Canadian Mint with her class. I care that your husband got so drunk on St Patrick’s Day he shat in the dishwasher.
New rule... anybody who drinks bottled water, wears Crocs, or watches Access Hollywood is no longer allowed to comment on George Bush’s intelligence.
If you are inside Home Depot and you are wearing an orange apron, stop ignoring me like I'm a leprous amputee panhandler.
If you’re a non-leprous, non-amputee panhandler, get a job; Home Depot seems to have a pretty open-door policy.
Canada no longer has a claim on the North Pole, okay. This is like Woody Allen having a claim to the gold medal in welterweight judo. Also, Canada is not allowed to claim Hans Island from Denmark with a straight face. Hans Island... does not belong to Denmark? We're not even trying. At least say it's actual name is Kuumonnashotpot or something.
Mark's Work Warehouse - no more asking me my postal code. If you want to compile consumer data, you can pay me. Otherwise, BuZ OfF.
Reality check... ‘Your mother’s maiden name?’ is not a security question. At best, it’s a thinly-veiled crack at feminists. What? Internet thieves are savvy enough to hack into your account, but they can't Google your Mom's bio?
Any new supermarket that puts the milk at the front-left rather than the back-right gets all my business from here on in, no questions asked.
Quit telling me to watch ‘House’ and ‘Boston Legal’. My crap schedule is brimming as is. Yes, I know Shatner is funny. Where were you when he took a stab at ‘Rocket Man’?
Okay, this shouldn't even have to be said... you may wear a toque or a scarf indoors if you're cold. You may wear a t-shirt if you're warm. You may not do both, Mr. Twenty-something dorkwad. Yes, I understand you saw this look on The OC or something, but you have just negated every day at high school that you did not get beat up. This "look" makes me want to go back in time, take shop, work out, and beat you up myself.
Quit making me scroll through every country on earth every time I buy something online. If Google knows I’m looking for “barely legal slut-dwarves” when I type in “ba…”, surely the web can take an educated guess as to what fucking country I live in.
Pass this along to 10 friends in the next 5 minutes and your wish will come true – so long as your wish is, “I want 10 people to think I am a sheep.”
Dec 18, 2007
Dec 17, 2007
Dec 12, 2007
The planets have aligned in such a way as to make people ask me a lot of photo advice this past month... mostly people at work, which makes me worry for my job a little.
Here is a smorgasbord of what I know about photography. Note: there is a heaping tray of stolen advice at this buffet.
First off... you must own a Nikon. All other cameras are forged from steel that was recovered from Hiroshima, Oklahoma City and Mount Doom. The plastic is coagulated artery plaque from the Mayo Clinic and the glass is made of evil.
1) Seriously, it doesn't matter what camera you own. Ken Rockwell explains. Ken is one of those 'love him or hate him' guys. One thing for sure, this guy has no time for armchair photographers.
2) There is no excuse to not experiment with your digital camera. It's f*cking free, man! Don't Google... Shoot!
3) The secret to great photographs is this: unusual light. I don't mean weird, I mean not usual. There's a reason back-lit portraits and dusty light beams coming through a stained glass window look cool. It's because you normally never see this. Contrasty is eye-catching and eye-catching is interesting. Flat is flat.
4) Good outdoor photographs are not shot between 10AM and 3PM. Refer to above. Everybody takes photos between 10 and 3. That's why you shouldn't. They call it magic hour for a reason.
5) Never buy what you can rent (or borrow). If you've rented it 3 times, then maybe it's time to think about buying. I always wanted to own a 300mm f2.8; then I rented one. Fuggedaboudit. $20 spent; $700 saved. If you rent from Vistek, that's okay by me, but you are going to Hell. And by Hell, I mean Vistek.
6) If you see something old/vintage/run-down that is begging to be shot, shoot it soon, otherwise it will be torn down or renovated - I guarantee it. There are about a dozen personal examples I could cite.
7) There is no shame in setting your $1000 camera to "Auto-Everything". I say this only because I used to do this all the time, and it makes me feel better. Eventually, I was dragged kicking and screaming back to manual. But if you're shooting kids, 'M' will make you want to kill your children, and that's no good. New cameras are smarter than most of us when it comes to exposure.
8) The "Rule of Thirds" is a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. Use it.
9) Bonus: "photographers" in a photo scrum on TV are extras who have no idea what they're doing. They are not taking photos, they are triggering the flash with their left hand. Also, in old movies, there is usually no film in the camera (or tape in the recorder). Note: if you're bored enough to consciously look for this, then the movie you are watching sucks.
10) Back up your photos, or your wife will eventually flay your arm with a carrot peeler when you lose them. NEVER delete anything, even completely black pictures. Your skin is worth it.
11) Move in close. The worst thing you can do is take family photos where you can't see faces. Nobody cares that your aunt is wearing Manolo Blahniks. (If your fat uncle is wearing Crocs, you might want to save that.)
12) It doesn't matter if the lighting's better, never make people squint into the damn sun, especially kids. You will be marked for death and I will help.
13) If you take a photo of a sunset, it better have a UFO, the Ark of the Covenant and the Grassy Knoll sniper in it, otherwise you're wasting your time. Know any famous sunset photos? Me neither.
14) Nobody. Nobody. Nobody... gives a shit about your pet. Even you. Take the shot, if you must, but don't show me.
15) New rule: no more posed social photos. John and I can only surreptitiously give you the finger so many times.
16) Alter your photos after the fact. How much? 'Til they look cool, that's how much. You want to be a purist? Work for the New York Times. Whoops! Never mind.
17) When the camera store weenie says you need a UV filter for your new lens, this is the only time they are not bullshitting you, and it has nothing to do with UV light. A cracked filter beats a cracked lens. Then buy online - it's way cheaper.
I guess that's about it. I'm starting to get ranty.