Thursday, February 10, 2011

Picture Day at the Undisclosed Location

I run photos here at Second Effort, some of which I've actually taken myself. Most of them, of course, are 'lifted' from other corners of the Internet.

Of course, I don't think pictures are entirely necessary -- even if it doesn't really work out this way, I'd rather have you coming here for my words rather than someone else's pictures. Still, the occasional illustration breaks up the solid gray page....

It took awhile to figure out how to insert a picture. Checking this morning, I think the first illustrations I put in this blog came in August 2006 -- nine months after I'd started this blog. And this was my second blog (hence the name).

At home, I'm the guy who downloads photos my wife takes and stores them in various subfolders of the "My Pictures" directory. I can do minimal editing and everything!

(Long Suffering Spouse has to take pictures at school. For the yearbook. For the parish bulletin. And she takes whatever family souvenirs we have because, she says, my pictures are usually out of focus. I can't argue with her because she's right. And this with an automatic digital camera! Yes, I have talent. And, if we're outside in the daylight, I can't see the stupid screen on the back of the device to save my life.)

Anyway, having demonstrated so much ability in the capture and manipulation of images, you might think that a simple request for a photo would not throw the old Curmudgeon into a tizzy.

You might think that -- but if it were so, this would be even a more boring post than it has been so far.

I'm filling out a questionnaire for one of the bar associations that is reviewing my latest judicial application. Some of the questions are easy: No, I don't use recreational drugs. Yes, my license is current. No, I haven't been sued. Yet.

But this questionnaire requests that I provide a photo. Of myself.

Most of the pictures I've been in lately are group shots: Older Daughter's wedding, Oldest Son's wedding. Events associated therewith. And even in these pictures there is a problem. Some techno-sharpie is Photoshopping me out of all of these photos and substituting some overweight, balding old man where I should be. I have been vigilant. I have paid careful attention. I still can't figure out how it's been done. And even if someone else weren't standing in the group where I should be, I doubt that a group shot is what the bar association has in mind.

And even if I had a picture to provide... well, when's the last time you went to the drugstore to pick up prints? Everything's digital now... and nothing ever gets printed except for the stuff my wife frames. Despite my vehement protests, my wife has even had group shots framed that include that overweight, balding old man where I should be.

But I need a picture and I need it now. So -- I thought -- I'll pull a profile picture off Facebook. There's a picture there that I've used as a profile picture that was taken at another family wedding this summer. The guy in this picture is also balding and overweight... but it's taken at such an angle, and in such dim lighting conditions, that these conditions are hardly noticeable.

Facebook is interesting. I can lift anyone's picture that I have access to, apparently, except my own. At least that's what I discovered this morning.

So, I fell back on a head-shot that was taken for me by a professional photographer some, um, seven years ago. My wife and I were coordinating a photo directory for our parish's 100th anniversary. One of us had to be with the photographer pretty much all the time when the parish families trooped in for their portrait appointments. It was during a lull following our own family portrait that I asked for the head-shot.

"What do you intend to use it for?" the photographer asked.

"For my business publicity," I told him, truthfully. That photo used to run with the column I wrote for the local legal newspaper. But neither the photographer nor I imagined, at the time, that I'd still be using it seven years later.

I printed a copy on plain paper on my inkjet this morning and it didn't smear too much. In fact, the smears probably improved the image.

And, no, I won't be running that photo with this post.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

my gosh curmy, if i can do it you certainly can! try harder! ha ha ha

smiles, bee

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I always wondered why itn was called 'Second Effort'.

Dave said...

I saw pictures of myself at the two recent weddings of the youngins I've been to. That same guy you speak of is in them. Zelig?

AndyK said...

An entire article about photographs without a single . . . photograph!

Steve Skinner said...

You could always have someone photoshop off a few pounds and add some hair.

The Curmudgeon said...

Dave -- I'm pretty sure it's not Zelig. My wife hates Woody Allen. Even before Soon Yi....

Steve -- did I ever tell the story about the first portrait I had done by a professional photographer? She had to retouch it so much -- well, she was out of business two weeks later. Maybe Photoshopping is cheaper. I hope so.