Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Drugged Babies and Dead Hummingbirds
Before I even begin to explain the title of this post, I'd like to say that it would also make a very good title for a musical or ballet. Or a Nature Channel special.
Now to explain.
I've mentioned before that I work for the library system, so I come into contact with "steaming piles of books," or whatever I said. I'll check my facts later. Most of these books pass under my glazed gaze for days without faze--ing me; I plays by the ways because it pays. Or so I says.
Alright, I'm done. Let's try that again.
Most of these books go past without a second glance because the vast majority of them are popular novels or books about dieting or dating. There must be a lot of popular fat people dating out there, so I'm generally surprised when I find something interesting. As a rule, when any book about photography finds itself in my grimy mitts, I'm obliged to flip through it. This impulse led once to my almost being violently sick all over my crappy old torn up jeans.
Perhaps you've heard of the woman who takes pictures of babies? Not just the "ha ha, here's a baby, and here's another slightly different one" kind of baby photography, but the really creepy kind. Her first name is Anne, and since I'm about to mock the living baby poop out of her work, I'll keep the last name to myself.
If you think about Anne's photographs, you're given the impression that she's just AMAZED by the fact that women can have babies. Astounded. Just holy crap, lookit that, a baby. Dang. I tried to make one once out of carpet remnants and butterscotch pudding, but WOW, these are REAL babies. I'm so obsessed, I believe I will create upwards of twelve giant books that weigh more than your average newborn just chock full of creepy obsessive baby pictures. That ought to send the message that I really like them. A LOT.
Here's my dilemma. I respect The Baby as an organism and all, and some of them, if you squint hard enough, are actually kind of cute. However, Anne's are either curled into tight recently-fetal positions, or wearing carrot suits, or stuffed into giant teacups, or sleeping in somberos or on the lap of a doll. Actually, ALL of these babies are asleep. Which begs the question: are they drugged? Tranquilized?
I may not be able to recall being a baby myself, but I've had some experience with them courtesy of my younger brothers and my mother's prolific family, and I remember them as being kinda screamy. The babies I know wouldn't allow themselves to be tricked into dressing like daffodils.
In conclusion, I'm concerned. I strongly oppose all forms of baby-drugging, even if it's for a good cause like photography. Besides, Anne, aren't babies cute when they're awake? At least you can tell they're alive then.
Part one complete. Part two: Dead Hummingbirds.
See the picture? I'm sure you saw it before you read anything, because the pictures always end up at the top. Well, that's a hummingbird. The photo comes from the back of a book about backyard wildlife, and I thought it was pretty hilarious. It made me think. There are three ways this particular photograph could have come about:
1.) The photographer was in the right place at the right time. This person is a skilled individual, and used high-speed film and a high-quality telephoto lens to capture the wings in mid-beat while the bird snorked nectar from the flower, or...
2.) The hummingbird is actually dead. It was stuffed, then glued to the flower, and the photographer took the picture whenever he dang well felt like it.
3.) This is a type of flower that eats hummingbirds, and the photographer was in the right place at the right time. He captured the wings in mid-beat, and made an audio recording of the flower burping feathers an hour later (not pictured).
Either way, I like the picture. Pretend that the flower is saying "Mmm! Hummin'bird! Nyum nyum nyum!" and it's even better.
Posted by Paul FooDaddy Brand at 12:53 AM