At this point you may be wondering why I have an outdoor blog, because it’s pretty clear that everything about outdoor blogs bugs the crap out of me. 90% of outdoor blog content is exactly the frickin’ same and I can’t even say for sure that this blog is an exception. It probably isn’t. We’re all navel gazing self important morons who use up our perfectly good spare time to not actually be in the outdoors but to sit inside raptly staring at the flourescent glow of a computer screen to wax as melodically as we can muster about going outdoors. It’s really dumb, has anyone else noticed?
And it’s not just the blogs that are dumb. I recently came to the realization that almost every outdoor picture ever taken and hence posted on an outdoor blog is utter shite and that we naive Web-surfing innocents should not be subjected to this constant barrage of photographical drivel lest we start to believe that real life should mimic this series of contrived moments specifically recorded to blast over the Internet to make the taker and/or subject look AWESOME. I compiled this list, in which the word “stupid” features heavily, then I realized with a shock of dread that I have personally committed many of these heinous offenses. I have included them with this post so that you may be warned. And now I am off to do penance, it’s really bad, and I’ll tell you what it is later. When I tell you, you’ll definitely forgive me for bringing up the following:
1. Selfies. Does anyone not realize that these are loathesome by now? Just stop it with the selfies. You look like a totally self absorbed idiot in these. Everyone does. Talk to another human for once, make a friend – just one friend – who will go places with you and take your picture. If they’re not with you, take a picture of ANYTHING ELSE BUT YOURSELF.* It will be more interesting and at least for once you won’t look like the most conceited person ever born.
2. Walking/riding/running selfies. God. These should be number ONE! This is when someone takes the time to set up the camera on a timer, retreats back down the trail, then pretends to be striding by, looking off into the middle distance, so the camera can catch them “in action.” I sometimes imagine the sheer number of self portraits these people take just to get one useable shot for their ego stroking agenda. See #1 for how to fix this.
No examples. I have never done this. Thank dog!
3. Pictures of your skis or bike. Ugh! Stop taking pictures of your stupid sports equipment from every conceivable angle. We know you rode your bike there, cuz you told us already. We don’t need a picture of it propped against the stupid sign! Argh. OK, THIS should be number one on the list.
4. Pictures of “photographers” taking pictures. Oh, it’s the dashing “photojournalist” (who has never actually reported on any, you know, news), moodily lit by slanted evening sun, brushing hair out of eyes while squinting askance at subject, holding camera at quizzical angle while contemplating setup of shot, or perhaps projecting a concentrated air while studying camera settings with carefully practiced technical gestures, studiously NOT taking notice of other photographer taking said picture. WE DON’T BUY IT. You’re not a paid photographer and we know you had your not-photographer friend take your stupid picture so you look all professional like you’re in a movie about a plucky ACTUAL photojournalist getting into trouble in a far flung corner of the planet, so that a rugged operative played by Brad Pitt can come to the rescue. These are usually used as profile pictures by the offender, and they are awful.
No one with one quarter of a brain would even think to take a picture of me with a camera, so I’m safe here too. Wait, here’s a selfie with camera, so I’m the idiot taking the picture of me taking the picture. Cringe.
5. Minor injury picture. We don’t need macro shots of your stitches, your blisters, your cuts and scrapes, or your bruises. No one wants to see the meager trickle of blood you managed to cultivate by not wiping off the knee that you banged. Cover that shit up. It’s disgusting. Getting a boo-boo doesn’t make you a badass.
You know, I had one of these annoying things. It was a picture of my leg with a trickle of blood from my first big painful mountain bike crash. I looked and looked for the picture for this article and remembered that I’d deleted it because, well, minor injury pictures are dumb.
6. POV videos. These are NEVER good. They are boring as the most boring thing you can think of. No one cares what your vantage point was while you tootled along on your bike or shuffled yourself through your third mile with a big dumb camera sticking out of your head like you’re a Teletubby gone feral. And you shouldn’t care either, because you were THERE! You already saw it. Like one learns when viewing wedding videos, there’s no need to relive your at-best-moderately interesting moments.
I’ve taken these. They’re so dumb I deleted them all, so I don’t have any examples. So you miss out on watching 35 minutes of poorly-positioned crotch-view camera angle of me riding my bike. Sorry!
7. Race picture. OK, so it’s the fake pro photographer taking the photo that is the actual offender, but the racers who post their race photos are the ones who deserve the wrath rained down. Yay, it’s a picture of you, sweaty and straining, probably going no faster than you’ve ever gone before in your life ever, with a number strapped to your belly! Wow, you’re amazing, along with the other 1,000 people who were easily parted with their $60 for the promise of said number, a loan of a timing chip, their name on a list, half a cup of flat beer and a piece of cold pizza, and the viewing of said race picture, which unless paid for is not theirs to use, but they use it anyway. Just like this one:
8. Footprints and shadows pictures. WE GET IT. You were there! We know! You left footprints and saw your shadow. Your shadow picture looks just like everyone else’s shadow picture and your footprints picture isn’t even as good as the ones they put on that dumb Footprints from God plaque that every religious person has hanging in their home. These are the non-selfie-taker’s selfie.
9. “Extreme” conditions picture. OMG it’s you in a snowstorm. Whoa there’s you looking tired after not getting much sleep or washing your face for a weekend. Never mind that anyone could take a similar photo on any day of the week when the alarm goes off, the fact that you’re outside makes you look AMAZINGLY AWESOME. Gosh check out those cultivated frosty eyebrows you carefully did not brush off like a normal person would since it is annoying to try to look through ice crusted lashes, so that you could show them off in your SELFIE and make sure everyone knows that you venture out in inclement weather. Just in case anyone was wondering! Which they are not. The real kicker with these photos is that they are taken simply to wordlessly boast about how hardcore this person is for doing stuff in allegedly bad weather. You know the ones.
I couldn’t find a single one of these. When conditions are truly bad I’m really not thinking about taking pictures, hence my belief that these “bad conditions” pictures are really just exaggerated and taken for bragging rights and effect. If it’s THAT bad, taking a picture is really not number one on the list of things you should be doing.
10. Jumping pictures! The worst! What IS this ridiculous ritual? So you can overcome gravity for approximately half a second, and? This is in the same category as screaming pictures, ill-considered hand gesture/gang sign pictures, and any over-acted fake-ass “We so CRAZY!” pose you can think of.
You are safe from this one. I have never ever in my life participated in a frickin’ stupid jumping picture. If forced, I stand there, pretend I’m going to jump, but just flip the camera off instead.
OK, well, to my relief, I don’t have as many examples of these awful photos as I thought. Whew! But there are just enough of them in my photo collection to give myself a good hard reality check. Cameras should be pointed at subjects and those subjects shouldn’t be the person with the camera. Pictures of ourselves are only interesting to ourselves. Lesson learned.
I do look good in that diving gear, though, don’t I?
*Except your stupid gear! OK, gear pictures are better than selfie pictures but not by much.