Friday, December 17, 2010


click photo to enlarge 
snap-shot, n.
Also snap shot, snapshot
1.a. A quick or hurried shot taken without deliberate aim, at a rising bird or quickly moving animal.
2.a. An instantaneous photograph, esp. one taken with a hand camera. Also transf. and fig.
 from The Oxford English Dictionary

If I extracted the first part of definition 1.a. and added it to the second part of definition 2.a. I would have a description of the word "snapshot" that more accurately describes how I took today's photograph - "A quick or hurried shot taken without deliberate aim...with a hand camera."

We'd gone into an art gallery and museum as a respite from the weather and to see some paintings, and we were ascending the building in the lift (elevator). My mind was clearly elsewhere because I didn't notice the wonderful reflections that the mirror walls of the lift were producing until it stopped and my wife had started to move towards the door that was about to open. At that instant I raised the camera to my eye and took this "snapshot". Everything is wrong about it. The aperture is F8 (unnecessary), the speed 1second (not hand-holdable), the ISO 3200 (it needn't have been) and it is blurred. Moreover, I look like I've got an enormous stomach (it's bigger than it was but not THAT big) due to my bulky gloves in my fleece pockets. And my hat is rammed down over my head in its warm but silly "outdoor" position. My wife also looks heftier than her sylph-like dimensions warrant because of the position of her cold-weather, thick red coat. Incidentally, recent photographs might suggest that she possesses only a red coat. The fact is she has three different red coats (and a few of other hues), the red colour not being entirely unconnected with the fact that a splash of red can often be just what a photograph calls for!

Those criticisms notwithstanding, and despite the fact that the shot isn't sharp, I quite like it. So I've posted it as the latest in my intermittent series of self-portraits.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1.0
ISO: 3200
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On