here’s the deal. i’ve done some stupid shit in my day. And when i say “in my day,” i’m not like an 80 year old man reminiscing to his grandson about stealing a Hershey bar from the five and dime. well, shit, i’ve done that too. though it wasn’t the five and dime cuz they didn’t have those in the early 70’s, but it was a store up at Snowbird Ski Resort where i kinda spent my childhood (Andy, remind me… what was the name of that little sundry store next to the Plaza restaurant on the second floor???). I did steal candy from there, which my mother quickly figured out since a) she’d never buy me chocolate herself, b) she knew i had no money with me at the time, and c) i had chocolate all over my face.
But i’ve done a whole bunch of other really low shit.
Here’s another one.
I was living in Nice, France my junior year in college. (yeah, super f*&king rough). We had a pack of girls that would hang out, and one of them, well, she just wasn’t smart. in a street sense. She could’ve been a goddamn einstien at math, but god knows she just didn’t know the most basic things that i’m pretty sure every human being should know.
we are walking along the beach one night, and it’s just an insanely starry sky with a full moon.
AC, “check out that moon!!!”
dumb girl (i forget her name), “i still don’t really understand how the whole moon and sun thing work. ”
AC, ” “. i really said nothing.. what do you say? But INSTEAD, instead of coaching her through the whole moon rotates around the earth, earth rotates around the sun theory that we learned in, ummmm, i think 4th grade, what i did is this…
i made fun of her behind her back.
and she found out about it.
so on her birthday (which weirdly i remember was the exact day as MY birthday), i gave her a gift, but she wouldn’t take it. instead, she said these words to me:
“i’d rather be stupid than shallow.”
i don’t remember her name, but i remember those exact words like they happened yesterday. have stayed with me to this day. i cannot claim that i don’t still take a dig at someone every once in awhile. i do. i’m human, not super human. and if you’re the person, reading this, that hasn’t ever said anything mean behind someone’s back, then go to therapy. because you have. it’s not about you doing it, it’s what you learn from it.
ok, now to take it up a notch, cause i just depressed myself.
another really low thing i’ve done… shot some really cool photos!!!!
“What do you mean, AC? Taking pictures doesn’t make you an evil bitch,” you say!
so true. so, so true.
BUT… what if you got really low. like REALLY, REALLY low when taking a photo? take that goddamn camera and get down on your knees and SHOOT!!!
what do i mean? OK… let’s start at a topic. let’s bucket these bad boys.
First: let’s say you have a kid. or a nephew you adore. or a really cool cousin. And that person has an event… soccer game, piano recital, ballet performance… whatever! look around, see it from the bottom up. see it for something no one else will see!
Here’s an example. My daughter runs track. And all the parents i see there are just snapping away at pictures of their kid running around the track, or throwing the javelin, or shotput, or… ummm… whatever else.
but have you ever looked at the track from down low? check it out:
is that steam coming off the track? woulda never noticed had i not gotten DOWN baby!
look at those cute feet! (ok, i’ve got some issues with the brands, but the blue sneakers.. that’s my girl 🙂
ok, while we’re on the subject of feet, let’s stick with it. next time you want to take a picture of a whole person, look DOWN, then squat DOWN, then snap the photo… it’s cool!
this is Nigel. Nigel Sylvester. He can ride a BMX bike like nobody’s business. seriously, he’s crazy. google him stat. His picture, along with a his buddy Nick Taylor (wake skater extraordinaire and featured in my “angle” post) is hangin’ out as the header of this week’s blog.
The meaning of this photo? i shot it after we watched a screening of the documentary “Waste Land”. to understand why he wrote “99 is not 100” on his shoe, you have to see this film. And it’s up for an Oscar (directed by the amazing fabulous Lucy Walker), so really… just shut up and see it. no excuses.
this is at Arlington Cemetary. Changing of the guard. took my breath away. how many postcards do you see with this image?
ok, i did not take this photo. obviously. since they are my legs. but it’s a good thing to think about on your next hike. skip the lame-ass, “hey look at me with a backpack and hat on giving you the thumbs up that we made it this far” look and try for something unique.
and here, well here are a dudes legs that really turn me on – found this guy in our friends’ driveway last week… just, i dunno, “lurking” there…
seriously, fellow amateurs. this is a perfect time to try this angle. because think back to the last wedding album you saw.
Here, i’ll help.
the bride and the groom the bride kissing the groom the brides hand on the grooms hand the group photo of all the bridesmaids the bride with the father the father giving the toast and the groom going oh shit and the groomsman dancing with the flowergirl and the really drunk groomsman doing the moonwalk etc. etc. etc.
we got it.
try for the feet. just the feet. have you ever noticed how beautiful the bottom of a white wedding dress is against a shiny pair of black shoes from the groom? (thanks for the example, Matt & Ash – cutest couple ever).
and now for my next topic, one of my favorites… the “TOTALLY RANDOM SHIT” photography, from a super low angle, of course (god forbid i veer off topic… sheesh).
last sunday, waffles gone awry (it was a new waffle iron… leave me alone).
next… all the shit on a table at a meal. this is what i call the “ratatouille view”.
i just made that up. i don’t really call it that. i was just thinking what kind of thing would see a table from this view, and i thought of a rat, and that’s the only rat name i know.
ok. one more. i took this on my run last weekend w/ my iphone. running along Skyline, and there’s this damn heart box. i just fell in love with the potential story of how this got here. and the path was lined with moss… so i just stopped running, got down on my knees, put the phone level with the pavement, and shot the photo.
and now for my favorite favority fave subject… animals! this is the BEST of ALL TIMES way to use this trick, because animals are always low to the ground and if you have really dumb ones like me, they just sit there and let you do shit with them. don’t care. don’t ask to take a break and go have a smoke. don’t whine. don’t do shit. this would be the opposite of working with a supermodel, i would assume (based on my extensive research of reading US magazine for a bunch of years).
here’s what you do. when your cat or dog or llama or goat or whatever is just laying there, put the camera on the carpet, lay down, and snap the photo. Use props. i do. it’s more fun. since i don’t have a llama or goat (though i need a couple to come eat my blackberry bushes so contact me if you have one), i’ll use my dog and cat as examples.
cat + chair prop
dog + ball prop
dog + wine prop
i actually got this one tonight… about 30 minutes ago. drinking wine (as per…), ran downstairs to refill, was coming back UP the stairs, and Kelby was just layin’ there. bored out of his mind. so i ran back down to the table, grabbed the camera, put the wine glass there (he still didn’t move), et voila. (if you need to borrow him to try this, he’s available for a small fee of a milkbone).
oh, wait… let me end with this one. my daughter took it this weekend before my run. i’m stretching, the damn dog comes to the stairs to check out wha’s up, and Savannah ran and got the camera, squatted down, and shot this. brilliant.
so there you go. By the way, all of these photos (with exception of the one noted of my feet on the hike) used tips from all my previous blogs. Cropping, editing, shooting at an angle, tint + temperature, and of course ol’ faithful, Camerabag. it’s so easy. even my dog could do it.
as for you all… the 2250 plus that have read my crappy stories and especially those of you that have applied even the smallest thing you’ve learned from my blogs… i am indebted and so thankful for you.
it’s ok to hit rock bottom, long as you learn from it and continue to look up. it’s the only direction to go.