The Story Behind The Picture

February 13, 2019 6:48pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 16 Comments

Creative mixed media post

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

I took a couple of photos this week as I was out and about in the land of hope and glory, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about them.

You see, there’s a lot more to just the photograph that’s sitting there in front of you. Oh yes. Oftentimes a viewer doesn’t realise the stress and trauma a picture taker has to go through but I’m here to tell you all about that. 

Waiting for God

Example 1: Bloke sat outside the church on a bench. 

Man sitting on bench outside church

Sometimes, I just like to have a wander around outside because the architecture and doors are marvellous and I have a peculiar thing for doors, as you well know. 

Anyway, I had my new Osmo Pocket with me as I wanted to test out its 3×3 photographic ability and quality. It’s a very teeny-tiny gadget and the viewing screen is hard to read but there’s an adapter that allows you to plug it into your smartphone thus using the phone as the screen touch window making it easier to see. So that’s what I was doing – wandering around the church grounds like Inspector Gadget. I spied the old man sitting alone on the bench outside the church. A picture of quiet contemplation. The father waiting for the Father. Bereft but blessed.  All that malarkey that makes a quality shot including rather perfect soft lighting caused by lack of sun. 

I love candid street photography – it’s my favourite. However, I hate doing it because it stresses me out. You have to be super stealth-like in the middle of public areas which makes you look a bit dodgy and a lot mental. This is the only way to proceed because the subject might take umbrage at being photographed if they spot you.

If you’re kind enough to ask the subject if they’d mind, you are generally met with a person asking 20 questions followed by the worst kind of unnatural forced pose which isn’t what you were after, or, an outraged psycho that thinks you’re going to sell their soul and market them on dubious sex sites.

I crept slowly toward the old man on the bench, stopping every now and then and pretending to analyse the detail on the gargoyles that I have seen a gazillion times over.  Just as I was about to take the shot he turned around and exclaimed, “A very good morning to you!” 

I nearly took the head off my Osmo gadget at being caught in the act and jerked around a bit as if I’d received a shock from my equipment. After I composed myself, I gazed at the windows above him, angling my phone and Osmo in that general direction as though they were the intended capture. Seven attempts it took me.  Seven.  And right after the shot he boomed, “You must go into the church and have a look inside!” 

In order to protect my cover I couldn’t refuse and swanned through the great doors with fake drama.  Straight away I was accosted by a member of the clergy demanding £5.00 for pictures.  That was my Costa Coffee up the spout.

Treesy Not So Peasy

Example 2: Nature

Tree in field at twilight

There’s nothing better than twilight for great pictures. In the winter months it’s much nicer because the sky takes on a dusky, ethereal mauve that makes any subject matter look like it’s painted onto the sky. I hadn’t gone out with the intention of taking photos and the only device I had on me was my phone. I happened to look out of the window of my house as the light was fading and thought it would be rather pleasant to go for a ramble in the country, through the farmer’s crop fields that are just across the road.  I reckoned I could get through a few pastures before the light faded and I was back on the pavement again.  

Wrong.  

You can’t just get onto the land from across the road because there are high hedges so you have to walk down the road a while and then cross over and go down a country lane until you come to a style. By the time I’d got there the light was fading fast. Not enough for me to turn back but enough to make me a tad wary. But onward I tromped. And I mean tromped. The fields were sodden and churned up by vicious cows. It was much like paddling. In quicksand.

As soon as I spotted the tree standing in all its majestic glory I searched my many pockets for my phone.  I took the photo and felt proud of myself for going on a random evening walk and witnessing nature at its finest. Until I tried to walk away and left my walking shoe behind and nearly slipped a disc, dropped my phone, socked foot, and cheery demeanour in the squalid mud in front of me.  My other shoe, now supporting most of my weight as I tried to pivot on it, sank deeper and deeper into the soggy trench as I tried to locate my lost one. In the dark.  

It’s amazing how quickly the the horizon disappears and the abyss looks back. Now way too far in to turn back, I had to continue half blind with feet three times the size of what they were due to the clay casks that had developed around them.  And then there were the haunting noises from rabid animals in the distance. Or supernatural hybrids. The ones you can’t see but you know can see you.  And smell you from 70 miles away.  I totally got the fear and skidded/plodded as fast I could overland to the next exit and lamplit concrete before I got eaten.

 I’ve had cramp in my thighs from this experience for two days and when I went to crouch down to fetch something from under my table last night, I couldn’t get back up without hauling myself up with almighty force using the kitchen counter as support.

Talk about stupid.  But I’d rather you call me something nicer and since it’s “Get a different name day” today, I’d like to be known as The Queen of Arts.

Poem about names on a piece of paper

What would your new name be?  Tell me in the comments below and make it good or I’ll have to  chop off your head.

Punishment And Pies

February 6, 2019 8:00am Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 12 Comments

February winter scene

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

February. I’m trying to survive it but it’s hard. Gloomy, cold, and uninspiring. The only answer is to give up your resolutions and start enjoying yourself again.   

Teddy bear crumpet

I found out that Asda makes crumpets in the shape of teddy bears. And I am 5.  Remarkably, ripping the head off a buttered up bear does wonders for your spirits. Breakfast is exciting again.

I also noticed this little thing in the shop…

Coconut pet

Perhaps there’s a theme going on here. I nearly bought it and put it in a cage.  I thought it would be amusing to show off my new pet to visitors, unnerve them, and make them leave early.  

It’s amazing the fun ideas you can come up with when you pay attention to things.

Talking of Boredom…

Ground hog day in the UK

It was recently Groundhog Day, although in the UK it’s been that way every day since we decided to Brexit. Every time I put the news on I envy Bill Murray. He had it easy.

 Apparently, Punxsutawney Phil, the sage and wisdomous groundhog, came out and predicted an early spring. 

He’s wrong.

Amateur.

Uromastyx lizard

Kevin has been in brumation for flipping ages, most annoyingly. However, on Groundhog Day he came out of his cave, had a quick look round, gave me a filthy look, and then went back to bed again.  

Move over Phil, my money is on Kevzilla the Klimate Kaller. 

Kevin clearly predicts winter for a further 6 weeks. 

Talking of Staying Warm…

When it’s cold outside, stay inside and watch something hot.  

Frank Castle “The Punisher” works for me.  Marvel’s finest hero. End of.

I’m now on the hunt for a bulletproof vest with a skull on which I think would be a fitting accompaniment to my bewwwts, lizard and pet coconut.  You gotta keep ahead of the curve. 

Talking of Top Crust…

Pieminister menu

I went out on Sunday to a restaurant that I have been meaning to visit for ages. 

The Pieminister.   And this one knows how to make a deal. 

Pieminister Sunday Best

What better than to warm up by tucking into a Great British Pie? And, fortuitously, on a Sunday, they make a Sunday best: pie, mash, mushy peas, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, pigs in blankets, crackling and gravy.

A Great British Pie

  Blighty fodder at its finest.

Eating is very on trend at the moment because the great powerhouse that is China has said so.

Pigs nose quote

Chinese New Year ~ Year of the pig. That means you can eat as much bacon as you want. 

There’s always a bright side. 

The January Sale

January 23, 2019 5:28pm Published by Jules Smith in Whimsy On A Wednesday 8 Comments

Satirical Snapshots Bringing You Whimsy On A Wednesday!

In the form of a poem about the January sales.

 

The January Sale

Black Friday and Christmas didn’t cause enough strife,

To put you off malls and shopping for life,

It seems that spending’s become a bad habit,

And commercials encourage with, ”Last Chance To Grab It!”

You valiantly decide to get out in the thicket,

Declaring, “There’s just no rest for the wicked!”

Your family regard you, somewhat perplexed,

As you defiantly counter, “There’s a SALE on at Next!”

You hold your resolve and venture to town,

Wrapped up in your coat and wearing a frown,

And a purposeful look leaving others no doubt,

You’re ready to battle and give it some clout!

You jostle and elbow, working up muscle,

Through over-fed crowds that are still farting brussels,

Who seem to have lost any sense of good manners,

Now hypnotised by the red SALE banners.

You undo your scarf as you make a mad dash,

Cos it’s causing a terrible prickly-heat rash,

Itching and sweaty and dreadfully frail,

You finally reach the reduced clothing rails.

It’s last years old stock, much to your chagrin,

But you made a commitment to land a good bargain,

You grab out at anything close to your size,

In the hope you might land a fruitful surprise.

You wait in the queue for a year and a day,

And before you drop dead you’re back on your way,

To show the naysayers your fabulous gear, 

And how much money you’ve saved this New Year.

But as you start to undo all the wrapping,

You realise that someone should give you a slapping,

There’s clearly no doubt you are out of your mind,

If you thought all this tat was a genius find.

The leopard print dress with the top-to-toe zipper,

Would only look right on an overweight stripper,

And the jumpsuit you snagged in neon cerise,

Should have people calling the fashion police.

The granny-fied corset they said defies gravity,

Is nothing short of a visual travesty,

And doomed to make any new romance go south,

Cos it just made you throw up a bit in your mouth.

The jumper, though cashmere, a heinous mistake,

Tried on by so many it has lost all its shape,

And spoiled by a mark much like dried up saliva,

Which explains why the thing was only a fiver.

Your audience mock and pass comments quite snide,

And profess what a nice time they’ve had stuck inside,

To go to the sales is absurd and insane,

And you’ve only your easily-led self to blame.

You snatch at the hideous things you have bought,

Trying to think of a smart-arse retort,

And then comes a moment of God-given clarity,

“At least I’ve got something to donate to charity!”

 

~Jules Smith ~ January 2019

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