The Best Day

My friend Raymond was “babysitting” 7 year-old Brodie.

Brodie wanted to go to a video arcade, and he asked Raymond if he knew how to play a certain video game, so they drove to it. En route, Raymond told Brodie that they should go to Tupper Lake because there they could maybe find a new grandma. (Ray’s wife of many years died about 8 years ago.) He told Brodie that all the women in Tupper Lake have chainsaws and skidders, and so if they went there and found a new grandma, they wouldn’t have to cut wood anymore. The story kept getting bigger and bigger until Brodie finally asked, “Is that true, Grampa?” Ray confessed that no, it wasn’t quite true. Brodie asked very seriously, “Grampa, how can I know when you’re telling me the truth??” They spent half an hour in the arcade and then headed home.

“Grampa, what was the BEST day of your life?”

“That was the day I met your Gramma. What was the best day of your life, Brodie?”

“Today, Grampa.”

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Photoshopping

Yesterday on FaceBook I saw a photo of a huge full moon rising on an ocean horizon. The shore in the foreground is rocky and moonlit in places. It had some 89,000 “Likes”. To my pleasant surprise, there were MANY comments calling it what it is, including mine: “Go outdoors. Look at the moon. Look at the ocean. Look at a tree. Photoshop is fun, but reality can be quite beautiful. This photo is so over-edited that it’s ugly, in my opinion.”

In previous times, the camera was never a liar. It could force us to look at realities we might otherwise avoid. Film was primarily a truth-teller, even though we burned and dodged in the darkroom.

Photoshop is a great tool. It’s fun to use, it can “rescue” a less than perfect shot (sometimes). I use it – along with every other serious photog – on almost every picture I take, but this world is becoming more and more dystopic, and people are getting further and further removed from Nature. We need to see the natural world as it is, not as one more thing for man or photog to manipulate.