Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Smile for the camera? I don't think so.

I think we've all been there. The point where you're asked to smile, say "Cheese" or whatever the hell the person holding the camera decides on as the cue to act really, really happy. Now this would be all well and good, except that most cameras, and especially these new digital cameras that everyone seems to be using these days, takes a number of seconds before they actually get around to taking the photo.

Now why is this a problem you ask? It's quite simple. While the smile you put on when they first ask may at least be partly genuine, by the time the camera actually gets around to taking the picture your mouth is the only part of you that is still smiling while you're eyes have reverted to the "Have they taken the picture, is their flash off or something, what are you waiting for" expression. The resulting photo leaves me looking like a cross between some sort of serial killer and politician (Or maybe just a politician).

My solution. Don't smile. If whoever is taking a photograph when I happen to be happy, laughing or similar, good for them. If not, they get whatever expression happens to be making it's way across my face at the time. This resolves my issue with appearing like a serial killer as well as taking care of any reservations I have of putting on emotions that I'm not having at the time, or inducing that emotional reaction, which in both cases I don't see as genuine behavior or something to aim for.

As for my trip, I am now in Antwerp (Belgium) and depending on what happens I may stay for a few days or a longer time. Belgium is a pretty small country so I should break into France in no time at all (After visiting Brussels), and from there the next major city I'll reach will probably be Paris.

As for my future plans, I'm thinking of selling my bike either in Paris or deeper into France and walking the Santiago de Compostella. Considering the amount of time it would take to walk the entire route, I think I'll cycle a bit closer to Spain first before I get rid of the bicycle.

Anyway, that's all from me for now. Until next time.


Sam said...

Stay away from Bruges

Toby Roberts said...

Hurray, Daz Isn't dead. Long Live The Daz!

Francien said...

Andrew, It's good to read what you're up to. Marco did te compostella (I think partly? but not sure) in 40 days, so tht's quitte a bit. But depends on which route you're taking anyway.

Camera's are higly anoying.

Here it's sort of the same, our 'new' cleaer team is about to leave and than we get new people. The hostel is busy because it's summer, it's great allthough I do look forward to winter time where you can sit down with any of the guests and talk for hours because the weather is horrible. Well anyway I am blessed, may you be too!

Anonymous said...

Smiling is probably the last thing I would ask somebody to do if I took a photograph of them. The general idea of a portrait is to capture the persons character and personality, which takes some time and getting to know the person beforehand.
Like you said, it's either hold the fake "smile" until the shutter goes off or just use a vacant/pleasant expression.

Personally I would refuse to have my photograph taken unless the person asked my permission first, or unless I trusted the person behind a camera.

Anyway good to hear from you, keep the updates coming.