fuzzy, black dogs

fuzzy, black dogs
All three of my fuzzy, black dogs -- Bob, Ace and Lilly.

Phillip's Scenic Overlook

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Selfies Best Left to the Young

I've shot people. I've shot animals. I've shot nature. I've even shot a couple of weddings. I took a lot of my own photographs at the newspapers at which I've worked. I have even received advice from two award-winning photographers and won an award (an honorable mention, in fact) myself. But, try as I might, I simply cannot seem to take an acceptable selfie.

Me, enjoying my morning coffee.

A 'selfie' is a photo that you take of yourself, by yourself. One generally takes a selfie with a cell phone camera. I can attest to the difficulty of taking a selfie with a digital SLR, let alone a regular SLR.

Me, sitting on the front porch.

You can add others to your selfie, if you so choose. In doing so, you are no longer taking a selfie. You are now taking a 'groupie.' If we're keeping our pronoun suffix consistent, we should be calling it a 'selvie.' Or, perhaps, 'selvesie.'

Regardless of my futile attempt to grammatically correct slang terms, the fact remains that I have yet to take a successful selfie. Please note the examples placed within this post.

Me, feeding the dogs.
I've even attempted some selfies with my wife, who is generally more tech savvy than myself. Those attempts failed as well, most likely through no fault of hers!

My wife and I.
I decided to throw in the towel and call on the experts. Approximately seven how to internet articles later, I announced that I knew exactly what to do to finally take the perfect selfie. Needless to say, I followed their directions to the letter and, viola! I got the perfectly centered and composed photograph of me and my wife that you see here.

Now if someone could please tell me how to activate the flash on this stinking cell phone, I might be able to take a decent selfie!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Travel Guide to Kiawah Island

While Kiawah Island does have its dangers, such as alligators, monster spiders, snakes and other wildlife, there are other, greater problems with which island-goers may have to contend.

Having been to Kiawah Island for several summers in a row, I have not yet dealt with, or heard of, man-eating gators. Likewise with the spiders and snakes. It seems that one generally has to look for them in order to find them.

One of the first dangers that my massive familial unit encountered was a well-meaninged vacationer. Honestly, though, we attacked him first. We asked him to take a picture or two of an entire half of our family tree at one time.

"Click, click." We stood and smiled. "Click, click." We smiled some more as "click, click" guy pretended to take pictures.

"Click, click," he went a third time with his mouth. I watched as he moved the shutter speed button for the fourth time. Then he flipped my Dad's very expensive camera and glanced at the bottom. "Man," he said, "what a crappy camera this is!"

We did find someone younger to take an actual photograph of all of us. Luckily, she didn't have as hard a time finding the single silver button set on the black top panel of the Canon camera.

House strangers are always dangerous, especially when one is sitting on the toilet in the bathroom.

"Hello," said an unknown voice on the other side of the bathroom door. "Does the door lock?"

This was all my son heard. He told me he silently prayed that the bathroom door was solidly locked and would protect him from the unknown individual on the other side of the door.

It turns out that we were having technical difficulties with the lock on the front door of the house. Apparently, the handy man had come during the day and fixed it. The unknown voice belonged to the gentleman sent to follow up on the repairs.

I'm concerned about the long-lasting effects this may have on my son's psyche when visiting bathrooms in places other than our own home.

Bicycles are likely the most dangerous things that exist on Kiawah Island. Two nephews, my son, my father and myself were bucked off the back of our wild bicycles!

My nephews' bikes sent them sprawling in the road. My son's sent him head first through a sandcastle. I was not made privy to my father's fall. And my bike? It tried to send me head first through the spokes of my mother's bike. I, however, foiled its plan and fell safely into a patch of gator-less grass.

While Kiawah Island is a beautiful, fun place to be, beware of the bicycles. They can be dangerous.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Alligators and Old IPhones Prove Problematic

We're on day two of our lovely full-family Kiawah Island vacation, and I still haven't been able to take a good alligator picture for my readers.

It's not that I haven't seen any gators. Gator visibility isn't the problem here. The actual problem is my iPhone.

Notice the clarity of this yellow-petaled, short, long leafied plant. Basically, plants don't move and are easy to photograph. Gators, however, do and are a bit more difficult. (Note, if you will, my amazing botanical knowledge of Kiawah Island.) My iPhone doesn't take very good photos of things that move.

Plants, like this short, green leafied, pink flowery plant, don't shy away from people. I don't have to use my zoom function, which blurs everything to the point where it looks like a UFO. Or Bigfoot. Take your pick.

Thus far, I've had to use my zoom for all my gator pics. Note, in the photo above, Bigfoot peeking out of the water at me.

Also, because I'm utilizing an iPhone 3, I don't seem to have an autofocus feature available. That means I have a set distance I need to be in order for my pics to be in sharp focus. Notice, above, how well I shot this purple, short, feathery-fuzzy flowering plant with narrow leaves.

With all that being said, in order for me to get a good gator photo, I'm going to have to get up close and personal with one of the great reptiles. The distances I go for my awesome readers!

So keep reading Fuzzy, Black Dogs. I will soon be posting (hopefully) a spectacular photograph of a Kiawah Island alligator for my fans. Look for the post titled "High Point Man Harasses Alligator, Kicked Off Resort Island" or "High Point Man Eaten by Alligator."