An Open Letter

24 Mar

Dear well intentioned tourist who we’ve asked to take a picture of us,


This is not how you do it.



It’s rare that the two of us have good pictures together. I don’t think it’s due to fact that our camera is unwieldy or hard to use (ppl with SLRs have taken bad photos of us as well). I feel that it’s because many people lack the simple skill of properly framing a photo, or they simply don’t care how your photo turns out. For example, at the Christ the Redeemer statue, it would help if the actual statue was in the photo as well.

Even if:

-the weapon of choice is film, P&S, SLR, or nowadays, the camera phone
-the camera is in P or M mode
-flash is used or not used indoors or outdoors (Okay, so I cringe a little here, but can you blame me?? Those cheesy flash filled sunset pictures are so terrible!)
-filters are outfitted or not on lenses

We all fit in some combo of the above. If someone has the most expensive camera and shoots exclusively in M, you would think they could frame properly as well. We don’t ask for or expect professional quality photos from the general passerby. For once I’d just like a properly framed photo where limbs aren’t cut off and where the attraction is in in the picture. Oh well. Until that happens, we’ll just keep asking everybody until there are no more people or we just give up and use the timer. Lugging around a tripod around the world isn’t really an option for us. Luckily in this case, we got a decent picture 3 tries later!



Anyone share in my frustration?


6 Responses to “An Open Letter”

  1. msluu March 24, 2012 at 5:09 PM #

    i offer to take picture for people because I feel people’s pain of either not being in a photo or having pictures like that first one. Haha. I think you can always crop even if you appear as the size of ants. I think it’s key that the whole shot is there. When we were at the top of Half Dome, Jimmy was VERY specific of each of the pictures he wanted. He’s actually gotten a little pushy about it. Haha. But people have been great about being willing to take another if I’m not happy with it. 🙂 I’ve learned it’s important to check after someone takes it!

  2. Jeff Young March 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM #

    Haha. I suppose there will be much of that over the next 3 months. It’s funny when people hold up the slr wondering why the picture doesn’t appear on the lcd… “how do I aim it???”

    • Jerry March 25, 2012 at 11:56 AM #

      That cracks me up too. It wasn’t that long ago that people thought seeing the image on the screen was a weird way to take photos!

  3. Oscar March 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM #

    Yeah, I’m l lousy at taking pics also…the key is to frame it ahead of time, , stand there, and ask the shooter to view it the way you frame it, hurry back into pic, smile, and voila–hopefully you got a good pic of you and Jeannie with the right background.

  4. bigjoet March 25, 2012 at 7:01 PM #

    just wait till you get to china!

  5. Oscar March 26, 2012 at 6:15 AM #

    re:the Redeemer–there is a good movie (Behind Enemy Lines) starring Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman where a downed American pilot is trying to escape the Serbian and Russian troops. The action takes place in Serbia where the Redeemer is “magically transformed” from the tropics of Rio to the snowy Serbian mountains.

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