VIEW OF DALLAS; NIGHTTIME
What failed photography student doesn’t have this horrible picture in his rejected portfolio? And not a rejected portfolio sent to NYU’s Tisch Photography and Imaging School, either. A rejected portfolio sent to the Art Institute of Reno. But wait, I forgot—you never applied to a photography school. You failed Introduction to Visual Communications in middle school. Your background experience involves taking pictures of high-school girls in bikinis in the deep end of the country-club swimming pool with an underwater disposable camera. And you were too scared to develop those pictures, weren’t you?
OUTDOORS; SNOWY PLAINS
OF NORTH DAKOTA; SUNLIGHT
There are distinct pink hazes in the sky and you still insist on using the black-and-white film. You think it will add mood to a snow-blanketed field that contains no contrasting colors. You can always use an ultrahard-contrast paper when you develop the picture to bring about your desired artistic effect, but I know you’re going to end up taking me to Wal-Mart to get this printed out on butcher paper.
INDOORS; CANDID SHOTS AT HOUSE PARTY
IN NORMAN, OKLAHOMA; ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
Dear God, the camera manual clearly states that you must place objects to photograph more than 1 meter from the lens, yet you, after your eighth Keystone, insist on holding the camera 6 inches from you and the girl you have your arms around. I could be working with the next Ansel Adams, exposing nature’s beauty, defining our future generation of earth lovers, or taking pictures for the next Tim O’Sullivan, showing America the atrocities and bloodshed of war. Instead, I am documenting your failed attempt to seduce some floozy at your old classmate’s housewarming party.
OUTDOORS; BLURRED SHOTS
OF STOREFRONT LIGHTS IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE; NIGHTTIME
I hope you’re not going to show this picture to your friends when you go back home. Not only do you break the rule of thirds (ignoring all focal points) but you captured the least interesting set of peepshow and nude-bar neon signs possible. And no, the blurry lights in the background will not be mistaken for a “shutter-speed adjustment technique”; people will know you had a case of the shakes. Is a tripod that expensive, or did you just forget that when you spend thousands of dollars on a high-class camera, it won’t make you a good photographer?
OUTDOORS; MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL
IN NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA; NIGHTTIME
OK, you are at Mardi Gras. All you have to do is turn on the camera and snap a picture of a boob. You don’t even have to think about framing it; just a little nip and we’re out of here. Oh God, you’re experimenting with manual mode. Do you even know what “aperture” means, let alone which f-number to shoot with at night? Jesus, you selected f/8, a.k.a. the black underexposure of death! With that setting, you could take a snapshot of the sun and it would still look dark in the print. I hope you don’t plan on posting these pictures on your website.
INDOORS; 1-INCH-BY-1-INCH HEADSHOT
FOR A FAKE I.D.; ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
This plan amazes me, not only because you believe that a printed portrait shot from your low-quality black-and-white ink-jet printer will work as a photo I.D. but also because you think you can pass yourself off as a citizen of Nicaragua even though you can’t pronounce the country’s name correctly. I know, I know, you will never take an Adamson and Hill self-portrait, but is it too much to ask for you to actually read my light meter and adjust the shutter? I don’t want to sound condescending, but I think if you unrolled a spool of unused film, the sun would expose a better picture.
INDOORS; A PICTURE OF YOU AND YOUR BODY PARTS THAT NOBODY WANTS TO SEE; ARTIFICIAL LIGHT
I can only pray to God my lens breaks before you are allowed to take a picture of this. I hate my meaningless life.