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Today I was out at Rodman Dam photographing the flora and fauna and anything else that would sit still long enough. I got this beautiful, beautiful shot of an Anhinga and he was very accommodating - turning, bowing, just what you would expect from a good model. All of a sudden this yahoo drives by in a pickup truck with his two yapping, yelling dogs, and lays on his horn and waves as if we were long-lost buddies. Needless to say, when I turned around, my model was gone.
This did not bother me too much since I had already gotten almost all the pictures I wanted. I drove on down further and sitting on a floating tree stump were a pair of bald eagles. They were hugging, rubbing against each other and just plain snuggling. They were, and I truly believe this, watching the sunset (which was magnificent). All of a sudden along came my long lost buddy, blowing and waving and with his two yapping, screaming dogs. Again, my subjects flew away in fear of their lives.
I watched as they flew across the lake and landed about the same distance from the shore as previously situated. Before I could even get out, here is my buddy, honking his horn, waving and with his two yapping, screaming dogs. Well, this was all I could take. I am a pious and peaceful man, not prone to violence, or let's just say I haven't got a record yet.
I jumped in the car, took off after him, caught up with him and asked him "Do we know each other?" He replied that he did not and had never seen me before. I said, "You know, I'm a photographer trying to photograph the wildlife. Your making all this ruckus has made it very hard for me to get my shots. Would you please not do it anymore." He looked at me and informed me that he'd do what he damned well please and that he could not stand damned tree huggers. I said, "Well, let me tell you something. I've had a few too many drinks in the past and I've awakened in places that would scare most folks and with some people that I still have nightmares about, but I have never, ever woke up in a tree, on a tree or hugging a tree. However, I did have an uncle who used to live up in the mountains and they said he used to get pretty lonely. Some of his affairs are in question. When he would come down to visit family, they'd hide all the women and any animals they were fond of." Here I go wandering off the main subject again.
I got in my car, drove back and was waiting for the sun to start to set, thinking I might save the day with some really, really good sunsets. I figured there's not much he could do to ruin this. Would you believe, he tried his best and I just could not take it any longer. I drove down where he was parked. He was standing outside his truck, waiting for me to do something.
Now, I have to mention here that I have a problem, an illness, and I have to be careful not to get flared up. It's called reverse paranoia. It's where I think I'm following somebody. Now, the doctors and my family, they all say it's in my head. Many a time I have woken up in a cheap neighborhood, in my car, with a half-eaten box of Krispy Kremes and stale coffee on my breath. I usually find that I have taken a whole bunch of pictures of someone I don't even know.
Anywhere, I pulled up and I just started taking pictures. I took pictures of his truck, him, his tag and he hollers out "What the hell do you think you're going to do with that?" I said, "by morning, I'm not only going to know your name, where you live, where you work and your telephone number, but I'll know what food you feed your dogs." He said, "Hah, I ain't got no dogs." That's when I looked at the two yapping, screaming kids standing next to him and said "Sorry, my mistake." He just stared at me. (I have to mention the kids were too young to know what was going on or understand what was being said)
I got in my truck and took off heading for home. I didn't get to the end of the dirt road when I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this guy coming up on the rear of my truck, his eyes flaming, with his two yapping, screaming dogs, I mean kids. I stopped at the stop sign, grabbed my monopod, pulled the little rubber skiddy thing off the end of it, pointed it at him and held it against my shoulder as if it were a rifle and said to him, "Please (which you will note sounds a lot like 'police'), we don't need to take this any further. Get back in your truck, put it in reverse and back down to the end of the road. Remember, I can hit you with this thing anywhere along this road." Of course, he didn't know it wasn't a gun and I'd have to be right on him to make contact.
Again, I jumped in my truck and took off. I stopped at a convenience store some miles away to get something to drink (RC and a Moon Pie) to help calm me down. I met two gentlemen there who said this sort of thing happens all the time out there and that I should pay it no mind. We got to talking and they said they're going to be participating in a battle re-enactment on or around thanksgiving. When I told them some of the things I do, they suggested that I come out with some samples and cards and they think I'd get a mess of people wanting their pictures taken and portraits done in their all their finery and regalia.
Sorry, again, for rattling on, but sometimes you've just got to put things down in words so you can make sense of it. In the past, you all have seemed to enjoy my little run-ins so I thought I'd share this one with you. Some might say that I might be exaggerating or embellishing, but I tell you this, if I've told you all once, I've told you all a million times, I never exaggerate. This is the truth. They were the two ugliest kids I've ever seen.
(photos to follow later)
Pictures, I need pictures!! Wow, Steve - that's quite a (true) story. I think I need to get a monopod (for it's "extra" features. )
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