Yesterday I had composed and posted a beautiful post that, if read by enough people, would have sped up the evolutionary process of humans by a million years, and we would have all changed into beings of pure energy and floated around the universe in a cloud of peace and serenity.
But, then, someone hacked into my wordpress account, deleted my post and left such a bizarre post that I’m not sure what it was even about. Oh well. Such is life.
Today a number of wondrous things happened, like lunch at Quiznos (oh yum!), movie with Mom (I can’t remember the entire title, but something about the exotic marigold hotel), and then dinner at Casa Rica. Plus! Plus! Gerhard gave me a remote for my camera! A remote! Do you understand what this means?! This means that if I set up a shot that I want to be in, I don’t have to click on the shutter release button and then dash to the front of the camera, just in time for the camera to take the picture of me all hot and disheveled from running. I can stand there, serene and composed and click on the remote and SNAP, the picture is taken. Oh heaven! Thank you Gerhard! Plus, he also gave me a very, very nice tripod. Again, thank you soooo much, G!
I took pictures of those things, but I’d rather talk about yesterday’s memorial day picnic at church.
Here’s what I’ve discovered. If you’re very loud and obnoxious in your blog about how you love to take pictures, then when people meet in you person with Alex (my camera) wrapped around your neck at picnics, they will resist for a picture or two, but eventually they’ll realize that resistance is futile, and will give in and let you take a nice picture. Well, most of the time. Here’s what I mean:
The picnic was outdoors, so I was hoping to get some nice pictures of people with trees in the background, especially since Scott had forced us to take so many outdoor portraits of him the day before, and all the techniques were fresh in my mind. So, I slung Alex around my neck and stood in line for food. A couple of people who read my blog, but haven’t yet met Alex said, “Oh, is that Alex?” and I introduced him and he was very polite and shook everyone’s hands.
Then, I sat down to eat on my lawn chair next to Jeff and Shelby. I was going to take a picture of Alex (not the camera, but a real man) who was standing nearby, but Jeff sat down right in front of him, so I said, “Jeff, you’re in the way. I’ll have to take a picture of you instead.”
Oh, he tried to sabotage my attempts, but it didn’t work. First, he wouldn’t open his eyes and gave me Billy Idol snarly lips, and when that didn’t work, he resorted to letting food fall out of his mouth.
But I was not to be deterred and I let him know that I was going to keep taking pictures until I got a nice one, so he finally smiled, just to make it stop.
Much better, no? This is a great picture of Jeff.
For those of you who are fascinated by the process, here’s an example of how the pictures look before I use Elements to clean them up. Note: that kid was in the background of the above pictures, too, but I annihilated him. And I chopped off Jeff’s hand, too. (Thornberrie, you’re right–cloning is violent! Click here to see Thornberrie’s blog. I’m a big fan of his stuff. Very funny and great pictures.)
Next was Kris. She’s a little more used to this, being that I’ve taken her picture a number of times at Soup Day. I have to admit, Kris is a great subject because she has perfect skin, clear eyes, and white teeth. She looks good no matter what I do with her. I can’t possibly mess up pictures with Kris in them.
As you can see, she was only mildly irritated at first.
I wanted her to look a little more dramatic, so, I lowered my lawn chair down flat and took a picture of Kris from below. I told her to “look serious” which, of course, sent her into a fit of giggles. When that passed, I got a very lovely picture of her looking serious.
And again, an unedited original:
Boy9’s friends were hovering, eating, and watching the picture-taking process with interest. I asked them if they’d like their pictures taken, and Boy9’s friends said, “Yes,” but Boy9 is soooo sick of having his picture taken that he stood for the picture, but made one of his goofy faces.
I edited this picture last in Elements and you can tell I was getting sick of fixing up these pictures and wanted to get to the Composing of The Blog. The colors are kinda weird. Boy9 looks sickly pale. Or else, he was overheated and about to gak again. I could have badgered and bullied him into a nicer picture, but that was just too much effort.
Next, I was talking with Kris and her husband, Eric. Eric and Kris make a lovely couple, as Eric is a nice looking man if you can get past the scary-looking, wild-man beard, complete with twigs stuck in it. Ok, not really about the twigs. Well, as far as I know anyway.
In a pause in the conversation I brightened up and was in the middle of inhaling to ask, “Hey, Eric can I take your picture…” when his eyes flickered from my face to the camera and back, and before I got out a word he said, “No.” How did he know what I was going to ask? “Just one?” “No.” “How about your tattoos? Can I take a picture of your tattoos?” There was a lot of eye-rolling and sighing, but he stood still long enough for the picture.
But then, I wanted a shot of the people frying the chicken and French fries. The man who is scooping out the fries was very pleasant about the picture taking, but I don’t know his name as I don’t know him personally. The other guy holding the pan practically leapt to be in the shot. He wanted his picture taken! A willing victim! I should have dragged him around the entire picnic area and had him pose for me everywhere. Maybe he didn’t realize he’d end up in The Blog. Shhhh. Don’t tell him.
Original is below. Note the missing truck and a few missing people. Where’d they go??
And then, I wanted a picture of Traci, because she recently colored her hair and it matched her eyes so nicely. The thing with Traci is that I have to catch her when she’s not telling a story. But I was impatient and didn’t want to wait, and she was getting increasingly irritated at all the picture snapping while she was trying to tell her story. At one point I looked at a picture of her and said, “You look sort of irritated in this one,” and she said, “Gee, I wonder why.”
(P.S. Traci, this is what you’d look like with green eyes.)
Not to be deterred, I said, “Well, let’s get one where you don’t look irritated,” and she stopped her story long enough to give me a nice smile. Thank you, Traci!
AND THEN! Remember how I take naps in the car, because it’s peaceful and warm and quiet? And remember how I told you that Barbetta’s mother was my inspiration? Barbetta’s mother is a nurse and works the night shift. She would come to the church parking lot on Sunday mornings and catch a little nap in her car on the far end of the lot. And one day, a couple of little old ladies came bursting into the church and told Jeff (not the same Jeff above) with great alarm, that there was a homeless woman napping in the church parking lot! Jeff went to investigate and realized that the “homeless woman” was his mother-in-law.
Well, here she is, only this time, she’s not in her car. This is at the end of the picnic when almost everyone has gone home and she can no longer stay awake for the festivities.
I wasn’t going to post it, but Barbetta said it was ok, and Jeff insisted. I think he rather enjoys reminding his wife that her mother is the scary homeless lady at church, and this pictorial proof only adds to his glee.
And that, dear friends, was the memorial day picnic.