The May 8th Rant

5-5-2013 Riv Show and Go 009 WP

I originally titled this post “WTF?”, then decided to clean it up a bit (at least the title), but that information tells you what I really thought about this at the time. After shooting at Riverside’s Show and Go classic car show on Saturday with a digital camera, I returned on Sunday morning to shoot film. After walking a city block into the show, I spotted this automobile.

The car in the photograph was certainly a beauty, certainly worth a frame or two of film. But the woman in the photo had positioned herself and her many pounds of photographic errata to block the view of anyone else who would like to shoot within that particular slice of angles. Luckily, she can’t be identified from this photograph. My first thought when I spotted her was not about the particularly effective blocking of photographic angles. No, my first thought was “What the hell is she using a tripod for?”

I was shooting black and white film in aperture priority mode. My film speed was ASA/ISO 100. Even with that relatively slow film speed and at an apertures of f/16 and f/22 the camera was consistently returning shutter speeds of 1/250 or faster. A tripod was completely unnecessary. With a DSLR, the tripod was completely, utterly unnecessary. Boneheaded. It was the only tripod I spotted over the two days I attended the event.

She seemed to be encamped. It took her over four minutes of fiddling around with the autofocus, peering at the display screen on the rear of the camera, looking in the open top of the backpack, then through the viewfinder, then at the display screen, then the viewfinder, then fiddling with the autofocus, before she took a frame. Numerous people kept walking up to the car, and finding their view blocked, attempted to shoot around her.

Her backpack was big enough. It was possible that she had a tent in there. I finally gave up on waiting her out. I walked on and shot along two blocks, then returned twenty minutes later to shoot the car without her visual impediment. She was still in the same spot, apparently attempting to shoot a frame. 

For a time during the same day I was talking to and shooting next to a man who was obviously mentally handicapped. He was using a digital point and shoot. But he knew that he didn’t need to use a tripod. At one point I watched a 70-year-old man attempting to shoot a frame with a point and shoot. He was shaking so violently that I found myself mentally willing the anti-shake feature of his camera to work properly. He knew he didn’t need a tripod.

I didn’t know quite what to think, but there were a few possibilities. A couple of the more obvious ones are listed below.

  • She just received the many pounds of photographic equipment for her birthday and decided to use all of it for the first time at the Show and Go.
  • Rather than “chimping”, she was really fiddling with the camera’s on-board Help system, because she didn’t bother to read the manual (you know: “what is a shutter speed, anyway?”).
  • She is bad mannered about everything in her life. That was just yet another spillover incident.