10 August 2006

Photo Editors Suck

So this week, the 80th annual "Unterländer Volksfest" is going on. For those of you that don't know what the "Unterländer Volksfest" is, imagine if you took someting, and put it on steroids, you would get Oktoberfest. That something would be the "Unterländer Volksfest".

Anyway, the local newspaper has had a photo contest during the Volksfest. The prizes for the winner are not huge - two free beers and chicken dinners at the fest - but they are asking for your best shots during the festival. They make it really easy to submit photos, and, theoretically, I could dump 7000 photos per day to their site. At the moment, 4 days into contest, they have a mere 28 submissions.

Now before I start my bitching rampage, let me mention that the entire month of June and July were sweltering, way above average temperature and below average rain. When August rolled around, the temperature dropped so much, and we have had so much rain, that in my opinion, the first week & a half of August has balanced out the entire months of June & July to make, in average, a very pleasant summer here in Heilbronn.

So, what I am trying to say, is that the weather has been crap. So maybe that is why the submissions to the photo contest have been so low. Because people just aren't going to the fest. But I submitted several high class photos (in my humble opinion) to the contest, and what wins instead? Every single one of the winners is some baby climbing on some carnival ride. I would be impressed if the baby was climbing on "the slasher" or "the thrasher" or "the masher" or some other violently-named ride ending with "er", or even the baby bumper cars, where 2/3 of the kids ride with daddy, but at least there is a little action. But no, the pictures are always of little, possibly cute (usually not), kid standing on the place where he/she/it should be sitting, said seat-cum-loitering violation is atop a halfway decent plastic rendition of a catepillar, snail, sloth, slug, turtle, glacier, tectonic plate, or other object that moves slower than the bums passed out on the bench by the river outside our apartment. Three friggin' days in a row. I don't even care about the free beer. Just tell me that my pictures aren't better than that. At least one of them. If nobody says so, I will sell my photo equipment and never take a picture again, because it would mean that I suck or that cameraphone snapshots of dorky kids on dorky rides are better than the drivel that I make.

This guy has a fricking FIRE on his head. Tell me that isn't more exiting than a baby on a hollowed out fiberglass spider man.

This woman carried seven beers and a bottle of water 100 meters to our table without crying. She didn't even whimper. Or break a sweat. And she went back and did it again several times for other tables. These dorky babies that are winning contests can't even sit on a plastic idealized dinosaur without bursting out in tears.

If I was a better photographer, I would have composed the breathalyzer girl a bit better. She was posing for me, so I could have taken my time. I would have preferred to get more of the mini-skirt with knee-high boots effect. But I like the guy in the background checking out her ass. This picture has style. Anyone could take a picture of a toddler on a toad with a seatbelt. That's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Sure, I'm biased. It is a picture of Jeannette. But she is drinking a beer that is bigger than these lame-o babies. That's got to be good for something. Besides, at least I can enjoy the beer if I were to win it. You would have to skip it and buy cotton candy for your whiny brat and then stay away all night as he/she or it berzerko hyperspazzes.

See how I am playing with perspective here? The tower, which is actually a WWII bunker, is nowhere near as tall or big as the ferris wheel. But because of my clever technique, I made it look that way. But No! The little baby that can stand up on a ride that just stopped is a better picture! He/she/it probably can't even say perspective. How's that for perspective?

I wasn't even prepared and I got this nice fireworks picture and Jeannette thinks it looks great. Try doing that with your cameraphone.

This is my example of how corny the Volksfest is. See, I even work puns, of all things, into my photos. But hey, your baby crawling on a little fake car ride trumps that. I'm sorry I even tried.

OK, so everyone has seen a ferris wheel. I tried to see it a bit differently. It could be better - like if I had lined up the wheel so it would have met the corner of the image. But you can't deny that the colors are absolutely fantastic. What? Your kindergartner sitting on the fake tractor backwards waving at random people is better? Oh, sorry I even tried.

No, I'm not bitter. Maybe I should just take pictures of cats. They always seem popular.


At Friday, 11 August, 2006 , Anonymous Jan said...

Allan, your pictures are great! But you need to understand that the majority of humanity thinks life is only special if there is a child in it. That is why so many pictures of kids win contest; it has nothing to do with skill...it has everything to do with being a 'real' person as the majority of our society thinks. As one person told me many years ago "To be a real woman, you have to have a child...that is total fulfillment". Guess I'm not fulfilled.

At Friday, 11 August, 2006 , Blogger Mike Apsey said...

Allan, clearly both your camera, ability to use it, eye, and selection skills are superior by any measure.

The skin-tone on the beer-toting woman is exceptional.

Perhaps instead of "Photo Contest," they should call it "Snapshot Contest."

In the words of W. C. Fields: "There isn't a man alive who hasn't wanted to boot a kid."

At Monday, 14 August, 2006 , Blogger Allan said...

Jan & Mike, thanks for the encouragement, and I'll try to remember to think of the audience next time the paper does this again.

I guess I keep thinking of the other paper, that has a "guess where in the region this is" photo from readers contest that is really cool. The prize is merely a mention in the paper, but at least I would feel honored to win because the photos are always so incredible. I need to get my butt in gear and submit something to that.

At Friday, 18 August, 2006 , Anonymous naomi said...

well, you win in my book. You not only took great pics (the corn hut is my favorite), you made me laugh out loud after a 12 hour work day and a long walk home. !


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