Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photo Dumpster Diving

Hi there. This is me:

Not a very good version of me, admittedly, which is why I threw the photo away years ago — or so I thought.

You can learn a lot about people from the things the throw away. I haven't done too much dumpster-diving in my time, but they always seem to find something incriminating after a 10 second garbage inspection on most episodes of Law & Order, so it must be true.

My laptop has been on the verge of dying recently. I think I've been saying that for well over a year, but this time it looks like it means it. Whirring, stalling, and spinning beach balls of death happen when I try to use iPhoto, Apple's nice but memory-hungry photo organizing program. I shouldn't criticize iPhoto too much, as I'm definitely part of the problem: I just noticed that I have 9000 photos in my library, and I found that 1200 photos I thought I had been deleting over the years have remained hidden in the iPhoto trash bin. This is the biggest problem with digital photography: sure, you can take as many photos as you want essentially for free, but at some point you're going to have to deal with them, and dealing with them takes a lot of time.

I was just going to empty the trash bin, but I started looking through the pictures and got fascinated by the stuff I decided was garbage over the past 6 years. I thought I would share some of the best of the worst:

- I like visiting aquaria, and I inevitably try to take photos of the fish, but they rarely come out well because of the glass, movement, and low lighting:

This looks like the cover of a science fiction novel, but it's really just a bad picture from the aquarium at the London Zoo

- This is a picture of me holding smoked mackerel pâté, probably for some intended post on things found in British markets that Americans would find strange:

It was actually pretty tasty, but it made me long for real bagels

- Dozens of pictures of banana peels for some harebrained idea I had a while back:

A London banana

The Swiss apparently throw away whole bananas, but only in the forest

- Several people I don't know at all...

...and people I only pretend not to know

- My toothbrush that I had forgotten in Chiang Mai being fed to an elephant by my so-called friends:

Countless out-of-focus picture of plants and ones ruined by sudden gusts of wind:

Stupid wind

- Things I found hilarious at one point because I'm a 13-year-old boy at heart:

- Pictures of myself I found too embarrassing to keep, like the picture of me scrambling up a steep cliff in Raiatea. This sounds all cool and adventurous, and it was, but...well, the picture doesn't need much explanation:

Ass close-up, take 1

- Several completely mysterious things that could be called "art" if I was so inclined:


- Evidence that I tried to sing Kenny Rogers in Bangkok (and nailed it, I tell you):

You gotta know when to fold 'em

- Frightening numbers of redundant and unnecessary soda bottle pictures:

Lord knows why I took 5 shots of these

- Things that tasted great but didn't photograph well

Poisson cru - incredibly delicious, but not so lovely

I'm no food stylist, but it's hard to make a hog sandwich look pretty

- The last pink-hued gasps of my trusty Canon Powershot:

And evidence that I have watched at least one woman's rugby match

Well, there you have it, a glimpse at my photo garbage heap. I'm glad that iPhoto hung onto these, because now I can't bear to part with some of them. I did learn a few things from going through all of these old bad photos: a. don't take photographs of soda bottles random food items unless you actually have some use for them, b. delete the crap photos immediately after downloading them from the camera, c. don't leave your toothbrush in Chiang Mai, and d. don't let anyone take a pictue of you singing The Gambler.


Steve said...

Thanks for the laugh. Apparently I am a 13 year old at heart too, since I laughed the hardest at the "anemic" photo.

Anonymous said...

No, really, the thought of you singing "The Gambler" is the best!!