Tormenting My Friends, The Weather Hates Me, and Gollum Makes for a Bad Guest

There was a Welcome to Soup Day party for Alex (my new camera) scheduled for today.  Which gave me an opening to torment my friends by practicing photography on them.

Traci Cupcakes.  “Welcome to Soup Alex” was written on them, but the letters melted a little in the car.

Today, I had A Plan other than my usual plan which is to fumble around aimlessly snapping pictures and hoping for the best.

Warning:  boring blah, blah, blah about photography ahead:

First was Traci.  I won’t post the picture here because she asked me not to, because her hair wasn’t “done.”  If you ask me not to, I will not post your picture.

But the other day, I got a great shot of Traci in a wondrously flattering pose, by pure accident.  The only problem was that I was only playing around when I took that picture and didn’t fix any of the settings on the camera or make any attempt at making it look good, and there’s a huge glare of sunlight right across her face.

And that’s exactly the wrong way to go about photography.  You’re supposed to have A Plan and know ways to flatter your subject other than telling them they have the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen and ‘if I told you your body was hot, would you hold it against me’, kind of flattery.   You’re not supposed to take a billion pictures and hope one turns out.

So, I studied Traci’s sun-glared picture until I could see what had worked in it and tried to re-create it with her today, deliberately.  I sort of got it and sort of didn’t.  I had her at the table with everyone else and I should have moved her into another room so I could have worked with her better.  In the end, I wanted to compare pictures from every angle around her face, so I told her to stay still, but to follow me with her eyes while I circled around her holding down the shutter button, letting the camera take 584 pictures in a row. I don’t think Traci liked having me circle around her like a buzzard taking non-stop pictures, but she bore up well, and I am grateful.

Aside: The Nikon d5100 does a better job at continuous shots than the Canon T3i.  Kevin asked the other day why I chose the Nikon vs the Canon, and my mind went blank, but now I remember about the continuous shooting: so, Kevin–that was one reason I chose the D5100 over the T3i. Aside, over.

Next, I wanted to pose Kris and Barbetta, one standing and the other sitting.  I’ve read a teeny-little bit about posing and wanted to try a few things out before overwhelming myself with knowledge and forgetting things.

I started with Kris and told her what sorts of things I’d learned so she would know what I was trying to accomplish.  The hands were a little tricky.  If you’re not careful, women’s hands can look like Man Hands in pictures, so you’re supposed to try to photograph their hands a bit from the side, and maybe a little bit curled.  No, not curled like talons, but gently arched.

So, I told her to put one hand on the arm of the chair and we got that one situated and then…what to do with the other one?  I moved it around a couple of times, and I’m going to have to find out from Kris what hand lotion she uses because she has very soft hands!

Finally, she moved her hand where it is in the picture and that seems nice enough.  I’d still like to figure out a couple more places for The Hand.

Here’s the picture, but please be merciful.  It was really hard for me to figure out what to do with Kris.  And certainly don’t look at the lighting, focus, or background, like that kid standing there chewing on a blanket.  (Kids are so weird.)  I purposely ignored lighting, background, etc, so I could concentrate only on posing.

Sit here. No, no. Sit this way. No…how about putting your hand on the chair? Tilt your head…no, don’t tilt your head after all, put your foot forward. No, maybe the other foot…oh, criminy, this is hard!

I’d show you the picture of Barbetta, because I like what I did with the hands in that shot, but I don’t think the angle I was shooting from was the most flattering, or else her shirt was billowing in a weird way, so she won’t want everyone looking at that picture. Incidentally, Barbetta has surprisingly soft hands, too.  Surprisingly because she’s a nurse and has to wash them all the time.  I’ll have to ask her about her hand lotion as well.

I had Barbetta standing, and I asked her to place one hand flat against her upper thigh, keeping her arm arched very slightly away from her body, so you could juuust see the curve of her waist.  Her other hand was resting on the top of the chair.  It was just subtle enough not to look too posed.


Then…grocery shopping and the weather was out to get me again.  Look at all the rain we had today.  In this shot, some car is wading through a lake.  That’s a lot of standing water!  This picture was taken through my windshield.

Rain rain go away…

In this next one, my car is wading through the lake and those are the splashes coming up from my wheels, going as high as the mini-van roof.  I was going about 10 mph, so you know it was deep.  Again, not the best picture, but I was  driving while I took it.  Hey–you’ve looked at your phone to see who’s calling, or found an address on a GPS or fiddled with the radio while you’re driving, so don’t get your panties in a wad.  I held the camera up and pushed the shutter button and let it snap, snap, snap any ol’ way it wanted to, without even looking at what it was taking a picture of.  I was watching the road and was slowing down at a stop sign, so the roads are still safe, even when I’m on them.


Then, Scott stopped by to help me learn the 7,415 settings on Alex.  I had to endure continuous digs against Alex, because Alex is a Nikon and Scott has a Canon named Erkel.  Half the time Scott wouldn’t even let me touch Alex, and kept slapping my hand away, hunched over and hogging his time with Alex, obviously wishing he had a sleek Alex of his own and not boring old Erkel.  I think I heard him say “my precious” a few times, but I’m not sure.

And then there was all the whining about not getting any payment for all his help.  Hey, he got a really nice salad out of it.  I knew a woman who made salad by chopping up a head of iceburg lettuce and drizzling dressing on top–voila;  Eat yer salad.  My salad was beautiful and had shrimp and walnuts on top and a choice selection of delectable dressings, so I don’t know what his problem was. He was just bitter that he wasn’t smart enough to get a Nikon.


2 thoughts on “Tormenting My Friends, The Weather Hates Me, and Gollum Makes for a Bad Guest

    • I know. I have a leftover Traci German Chocolate Cake in the freezer that I’ve been eyeing the past few days. You should get Kim or Michael to send you a cupcake. Overnight FedEx.

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