Monday, July 03, 2006

Looking at myself. Twice.


I rarely show up in pictures because I'm not altogether comfortable having the lens turned on me. It's not that I'm some Frankenstinian freak show or anything, but I figure I draw enough attention to myself in so many other ways that it's OK to draw the line at photography.

But an interesting side effect of my comfort behind the lens is my inability to perfectly predict the outcome of every last shot. Despite having taken kajillions of pictures in my life, I still end up with the occasional surprise when I get my pictures back.

This is one of them. I thought I was taking a standard picture of little guy Noah as he ate birthday cake and contemplated a back yard full of friendly folks who were a lot bigger than he was. What I got was a unique father-and-son shot that illustrates why photography continues to enthrall me: because there's always something unexpected to look forward to.

Your turn: Please tell us about a picture that ended up way different than you expected when you first pressed the shutter. Can pictures still surprise you?

21 comments:

mg said...

The picture on my blog template actually turned out differently than I expected. I was playing with light and tone, and ended up with more warmth than expected. I like it so much that I incorporated it into my template~!

Michele sent me (but I've been here before!) :)

kenju said...

Happy Birthday, Noah (whenever it was...LOL). He's so cute.

My digital camera screen is hard to see in sunlight, so I am never certain if I am getting a shot worth keeping until I see it on the computer screen. You can't imagine how many of them I have to delete!!

Michele brought me back today, Carmi.

margalit said...

Pictures still surprise me, but less with a digital camera than with my old film cameras.

The picture that stands out for me as a HUGE surprise was a photo of my son taken when he was about 2. He had just gone down one of those plastic tube slides in the fall, and I shot him just as he came out the bottom. In the picture, his hair was standing straignt up from the static electricity, but I didn't know that until it was developed. It still cracks us up when we look at it today.

Here from Michele

Killired said...

i would have to think about what pix looks different than expected for me... in the meantime, i am cracking up over your 'frankenstein freakshow' comment... i'd rather take pix than be in pix too!

here from michele's this time!

srp said...

Here from Michele.
Of course, it is always a surprise. Shadows show up that you didn't see when pushing that little button. Light looks different, tiny little insects you didn't see with the eye show up, all sorts of reflections.

I took a polaroid picture once of my MIL's new bedroom set. As it developed, I saw a dark blob appear. It was my Siamese, perfectly centered on the floor at the foot of the bed, perfectly posed and looking straight into the lens. I didn't know he was there, but he knew where the camera was.

A Woman Changed said...

Precious! I love the crumbs around the mouth. My favorite photo is one that I got of my cat. It just seemed...poetic. And somehow the background turned out black, making it even more dramatic.

Joe said...

I can't think of any photo of my own that contained a surprise. Once in a while, though, when passing a particularly old or "haunted" looking building, I'll shoot a dark window or doorway just to see if any phantasmal figures appear in the shot. Lame, but fun. And no, I haven't captured any ghosts on film, yet. ;-)

Visiting from Michele's.

Last Girl On Earth said...

Ever since I got my digital camera, there are less surprises... Only because I shoot a thousand copies of the same shot! Thank goodness I'm not paying for developing anymore.

This is such a sweet picture! Looks like you are having a good weekend. We just got back inside. It's HOT in the city today! WAY to hot to hang outside! Michele sent me over today. Love that girl!

mrsmogul said...

That's a cool pic. Hmm recently a picture was taken of me and I thought I would look all dopey and cross-eyed but it actually came out good! So good I printed it out and put it in a photo album. AND I USUALLY HATE looking at pics of myself!

KaraMia said...

Ah, not so versed at photography, so every result is a suprise!
Here via michele today, back later on my own =0)

Juliness said...

Absolutely they can still surprise me. Even with the excitement of digital photography, seeing photos as soon as they're taken, for me there is nothing like leafing through an old photo album or stack of prints. Especially when the photographer or subject is nearby to explain what they were thinking or doing at the time of the picture. I'll never forget how my late Grandmother flushed with embarrassment the day we discovered photos of her as a late teen at the beach in a swimsuit. As soon as we laid eyes on those, we knew exactly how she "turned my Grandad's head" and demanded the rest of the story.

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

Wow your son looks just like you.

Yes I am often amazed by my photos. Much of the time it's "Well shit, that's not how I meant it to look." hahaahahahaha

Jennifer said...

I love surprise pictures. I actually took one on our recent camping trip.

I was taking a picture of my grandmother by the fire, and when I looked at the picture, I saw what seemed to be " eyes" in the background.

After a little investigation however, it was just the lights off the back of the other campers :)

That's a great photo of Noah! I love how much you can see in his glasses it's like a genuine shot of " the world through someone's eyes"

CanEragon said...

I see a BIG resemblance in that young face, Just like his father.

Don't you just love photos like that?

Cheers
Jeremy

Sandy said...

While I adore my digital camera now, I will say that sometimes I miss that built-in surprise of print photos. The digital gives me that instant proof - sponstaneous gratification. The prints...well I never knew what I'd get until I had that pack in my hands. I loved the surprises.

That said, the more I play, the more surprises I find. Which just makes me go out and take even more.

I do like this picture of Noah and his glasses. Another photo that tells a story larger than itself. This is why I like to visit you.

kontan said...

I always love stopping by Carmi, you have the greatest pics and thoughts to go with...

What surprises me most about photos is the emotion that the lens can reveal. It may not be something that we would see just looking at a person. Many times they will hide the true emotion, but it is difficult to hide it from the camera.

I've also been surprised by the impact lighting can have.

srp said...

Here again from Michele.

I just noticed something about this picture.... is that, could that possibly be chocolate frosting on that sweet little face? Nothing better in a little boy's mouth than chocolate cake. I miss those funny kids parties now that the Nyssa is all grown up.

Shane said...

a great blog post title.

Plain Jane said...

My photos often surprise me and then I imaginary kiss the people at Kodak for making me look like a half way decent photographer from time to time. :)

Pearl said...

Nice picture in picture effect. A backyard get-together sounds lovely.

Pictures surprise me all the time with the digital camera in bright light. Can't really see what I'm shooting, just hope for the best.

Zee said...

This one [http://www.beyondfocus.innerzinc.com/archives/000386.php]
was one that surprised me, mostly because I was so caught up in the moment playing with my niece that time and place were no longer important. Every time I look at this picture it reminds me of that perfect, happy, pure moment. Like a child. Imagine my surprise when not only that was captured, but I'm clearly visible in the reflection in her eyes in the original sized shot!