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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Tuesday May 01 2007

Quota photo time.  Not artistic pictures, that I’m showing you to dazzle you with my artistic sensibilities.  No, these quota photos are to illustrate non-artistic type points.

One of the reasons I instinctively feel that Billion Monkeys are fair photographic game, whom I duly hunt and shoot as if they (we actually) were regular monkeys, is that they (we) behave as if I wasn’t there.  We behave as if the normal rules of regular behaviour don’t apply to us, so why should those rules apply to me in my dealings with us?  If you get my drift.

So, today, for instance, I’m standing on the pavement, just leaning against the railings outside Parliament and looking around for my next shot, and a Billion Monkey lady suddenly kneels down literally inches away from me, right underneath me, right there at my feet.  She’s photoing her man from below so that she gets Big Ben right behind him.  So, I photo her.  I don’t have to move.

She’s the one on the left.

imageimage

On the right, we can observe another interesting phenomenon.  This is the spread of digital SLRs beyond the ranks of Real Photographers, and into the hands of hitherto impeccably unreal Billion Monkeys.  This distinction is starting to blur.

Big clunky SLRs are now being used not just to take Real Photographer photos, but also to snap Billion Monkey photos, such as: the Billion Monkey self portrait, as the lady on the right illustrates.  In this collection of shots of Billion Monkeys photo-ing themselves, almost all of the cameras being used are regular little Billion Monkey cameras, rather than Real Photographer SLRs.  Real Photographers would never just stuff a camera out in front of themselves and take a photo of themselves.  But for Billion Monkeys, such behaviour is routine.

Brian, my dear fellow!
Unless I have misunderstood your point, you are just being, if I may be so bold, a little snobbish here, about “kit”. Now, “Kit” or in the ham radio field what we radio-geeks call “your rig”, is in my humble opinion, immaterial. If it works, and people can hera you (or see your pix if it’s a camera) and you can afford it, do it.  We are libertarians after all; if a"billion monkey” can afford a digital SLR (and I saw one in Asda last week for £189 and nearly bought it except that our existing B-M camera is still working and also my dear wife has just been given another for work) and wants to self-snap himself/herself, then that’s fine, surely! No?

But thank you at last! I now understand what a “billion monkey” is! Ta very much, I can die happy.

Posted by David Davis on 02 May 2007

Dave

If I’m being snobbish, then in a very peculiar way, because I’m a Billion Monkey myself, as I state, yet again, albeit rather confusingly, in para 2 of the posting.

Actually, I am at least as much mocking the Real Photographers (who are the real losers in this story) as I am having fun with the BMs.  At that wedding I am going to this w/e, we Billion Monkeys will be having Billion Monkey fun, and it is the official Real Photographer, if they’ve even hired one (increasingly people don’t bother), who will be NOT having fun, because of all these damned Billion Monkeys so obviously replacing him right there in front of his eyes.  (I hope to get a snap of this person, if he exists, and preferably with that anxious look.)

However, Real Photographer cameras do definitely yield technically better pictures, if you don’t mind how big they are and if you know how to use them.  This is why so many Billion Monkey types are now trading up to them.  As opposed to just old-style film-and-darkroom Real Photographers caving in to the digital age, and trading down, as they probably see it.  Certainly they used to.

Personally I still use a Billion Monkey camera, not unlike the one you nearly bought, although a slightly superior one with a big zoom and a twiddly screen (Canon S2 IS), because I like how reasonably small it still manages to be and because I really like the twiddly screen, which you mostly don’t get with SLRs.

Although, this may soon change.  The Olympus E-330 (I think that’s its moniker) is an SLR which also has a twiddly screen, on which you can, as with my camera, and unlike with most digital SLRs, compose your picture beforehand.

As more of us Billion Monkeys move up to SLRs, there will, I predict, be many more cameras that give us the best of both worlds, i.e. SLR picture quality and control, plus what we have become used to, namely twiddly screens (if, like me, we want them), and composition on screen rather than onlly by squinting through the camera with the thing jammed against your face.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 02 May 2007

OK Brian, I take your point. Actually, i also have been wondering about the utility of the “real photographer” in these days, in these situations. given that this marvellous technollgoy, increasingly easier to use, is now so available for so little mmoney, why bother? Just let your real friends and relations do the job for you. They know much more about you than any “hired gun”.

Posted by David Davis on 02 May 2007

Last weekend I was waiting in a restaurant when a couple, obviously just married, walked in accompanied by four or five professional photographers. The photographers wore black and carried numerous expensive video and still cameras with enormous lenses. They were very businesslike and I felt a bit intimidated. Then one of them saw my run-of-the-mill 1970s film SLR and they all lit up and said “cool!” and became friendly and started asking me questions about my exotic equipment. A pleasant and amusing experience.

Posted by Jonathan on 05 May 2007
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