A couple of former colleagues of ours have just had a baby. Proud dad is a photographer, so as you can imagine, instead of the fairly ordinary pictures you or I might take, their new-baby photos are quite stunning.
Which is lovely, as it makes an already very important event even more special. Everyone wants a pictorial record of their little ones’ magic moments. And how nice must it be to have them captured forever, not in a series of slightly-fuzzy or badly-framed images snatched on your mobile, but in lovely photographs that really have the wow factor.
“Here’s little Timmy at his sports day – that’s him, you can just see his left leg disappearing out of the picture!
“And there he is at his birthday party, next to Auntie Mabel. She’s the one with the plant pot growing out of her head!”
Having worked with photographers throughout my career, I can vouch for the fact that their “holiday snaps” are truly sickening. Breathtaking examples of stunning landscape photography, that might have come straight out of the most eye-catching travel brochure. And in fact probably would, if they’d have been given that assignment.
Unlike the rest of us.
“Here’s Gladys on the beach. No, no, no, she hasn’t put on weight – that’s my thumb over the lens!
“This is the Eiffel Tower ... yes I know you can only see a few girders, but it’s a bit tall, and I couldn’t get much of it in!”
The Other Half – sorry, I mean The Better Half (old habits die hard) – was asked by a couple of Japanese tourists to take a picture of them in front of the Sacré-Couer in Paris.
Now, being one of the city’s most striking cathedrals, it is, well, a bit tall. And The Better Half was struggling to get enough of it in to be recognisable. After several minutes of faffing, Mr Japanese Tourist sighed, took the camera out of her hands, turned it upright, and gave it back to her ...
Well look, not everyone’s camera-savvy, are they? Although to look at the adverts for the latest camera app or photo-manipulating program for your computer, you’d think everyone in the world automatically takes brilliant pictures (and routinely travels to stunningly photogenic locations on holiday, too).
Well I guess the advertising brainwashing must work. Because, baffling as it is to me, the portable tablet seems to be the new go-to piece of kit for the tech-minded tourist these days.
So when you’re on holiday, you’re confronted with the spectacle of people with something as big as the average book in their outstretched arms, waving it about in front of a local landmark or photo opportunity.
Look, I know they say that size doesn’t matter, but it’s hardly the last word in convenience, is it? Or even practicality. Especially when mobile phone cameras are so good nowadays.
I guess they must think it’s handy to have everything on their tablet, right in front of them. But it’s a bit much to lug around everywhere, isn’t it? And what happens if you lose it?
It’s a far cry from when I used to go out snapping, when my biggest problem was remembering whether or not I’d taken the lens cap off ...