Beautiful, isn't it? That's a lake near the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka, Japan. I took that picture. Best I've ever taken. Now here's what my average picture looks like:
That's Batman's dick. Both Batman's dick and the lake were photographed with my new Canon T5 Rebel, which is why they both look great for what they are. It's a much fancier camera than I'm used to. It puts in my meager hands the power to create beauty from nothing. It holds tremendous power. Like the One Ring, it can corrupt a soul, making its bearer capable of doing some stupid things. Like what? I'm glad I imagined you actually cared to ask. Let me tell you ...
My wife and I bought the camera to document our honeymoon in Japan. Since then, I've been struggling to find things to photograph that'll justify the camera's existence in our home. We keep telling each other that it's a good family camera that'll come in handy on future birthdays, vacations, and if we have kids. Until then, I'm going to prove us wrong by continuing to burst into the bathroom to take pictures of her sitting on the toilet looking very angry, which she will one day assemble into a large collage that'll be submitted as Exhibit A in our divorce proceedings.
To take good pictures, I need to go out into the world. I can't wait around hoping a good subject will show up in my living room. And yet that's exactly what I do. These cameras beg to be unleashed on the larger world, beyond the confinement of a home. It's like caging a bald eagle. But I'm usually just watching Cheers on Netflix, which is why a majority of my pictures are of the left side of my wife's face as she sits on the couch next to me. That's why I have 800 virtually identical pictures of my dog as she's using her eyes to tell me she wants to go outside to find some adventure, but I think her pained glances are adorable and worthy of photographing eight times from every angle, because six of them will be blurry and I don't know what I'm doing. Here are my feet.
I have 22 exactly like it, all from different days. Sometimes without socks if I'm feeling raunchy.
What absolutely doesn't help is the 32 GB SD card loaded in the camera, which can hold the equivalent of every picture taken in America from 1971 through 1987. Every second the camera isn't being used, it's screaming at me from the other room, begging me to justify its purchase. And then, when I do use it, the memory card which can hold the entirety of human knowledge whispers "Fill me up, daddy" into my ear. It doesn't care if the pictures are going to be submitted to National Geographic or are blurry Thanksgiving pictures that will gather digital dust on my computer. It's just a technological demon with an insatiable appetite for super-high-quality selfies.
There is a corrupting magic in the sensation of twisting the lens on an expensive camera's focus thingy to get a perfect depth of field so I can take a picture of my cat licking his asshole that's worthy of pushing "Mona Lisa" off her spot in the Louvre. Everything has the potential to be art. Some empanadas from the Argentinian bakery up the street? Art.
That cheap Halloween decoration I got at the dollar store? Art.
The magic of these cameras is their ability to transform the mundane into beauty. We're so used to seeing this kind of image quality from movies that any halfway-decent picture these things churn out feels important.
Did I take a shit in my hand and take a picture of it? You bet I did. Only I didn't. That's fake dog poop I keep in my emergency comedy drawer beside my rubber chicken and squeaky red nose. I took this picture to illustrate a point. It is literally a picture of a piece of shit, and yet it looks infinitely better than it deserves to. I got it in one snap of the camera, and the whole process took two to three seconds. If I can get that quality out of a piece of shit in that amount of time, think what that must do to your brain when you see the rest of the world. Suddenly, everything deserves to have its picture taken.
The wickedness of these cameras is even more deeply rooted than their ability to turn poop into art. There is evil inherent in even owning such a device, because ...
Why take a class to learn how to take nice pictures when I can just buy an extremely easy-to-use professional-quality camera that comes pre-loaded with tons of easily accessible settings that do most of the heavy lifting for me?
There's something dangerous about a tool that does its job so well that it makes its user think they're better than they are. I've never fired a gun in my life, but I get the sense that the power I feel holding this camera in my hands is about the same. I don't have to be good at it to be effective with it. To kill someone, you used to have to chase them down and beat them with rocks. Then some lazy prick made guns and killed a guy from far away, then used all the time and energy he was saving to kill even more guys. Same principle applies to cameras. I can shoot and shoot, with no regard for quality. The camera will figure it out.
At all times with this camera, I feel like a kid in a '90s children's movie who sucks at something, then magically gains the power to be the best at it, then loses the power in the end and he sucks all over again. Was that the plot of Rookie Of The Year? Maybe. If so, I am Rookie Of The Year but with a camera.
20th Century Fox
This deception gives me unearned confidence which eventually turns to delusion ...
From the second I picked this camera up, I started envisioning myself as a New York Times photojournalist taking pictures of impoverished, emaciated African children or bloodied Middle Eastern civilians fleeing a war zone. I imagined myself and my camera trotting the globe, capturing the human experience one face at a time. I thought, "We're going to make a difference, you and I" as I took a third picture of a different Batman's dick.
I mean, if I'm so good with this thing -- and clearly, as every one of my 10,000 useless pictures can attest, I am -- why waste my time with all these batdicks? Why not go out into the world and make a difference? But first, I have to photograph my office chair from angles yet undiscovered by man in my quest to find the perfect picture for its eBay listing.
Delusion is a hell of a thing. In a world of my own making, where poop is beautiful, I can spark revolutions. If I'm going to do this, if I'm going to change the world one shutter snap at a time, I need to put my childish obsessions aside. I need to turn my lens away from Batman dicks and aim it toward something bigger. I need to graduate to photographing my own dick.
It does ;)
[Editor's Note: We can't post those. 271 pictures removed.]
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