Friday, April 13, 2012

Cool Girls Rule (The Scheimpflug Principle)

Cool Girl Having an Amazing Time

A while back, my wife and I traveled to Vegas to attend the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International convention.  Otherwise known as WPPI, it's a great convention, and is attended by more than 8000 photographers.  6000 are women, and about 80% of the women are what are called "cool girls."  Young women 21-35 who wear knee high boots with their jeans.   Over the years, I have noticed their steady increase in numbers, and I now conclude that they rule the world.  At least the photography world.  The work of photography once belonged exclusively to laborers--a small number of dedicated workers who struggled over image-making hurdles to create something special, something unique, and something profitable.  As a group, we wrestled to balance an awkward bundle comprised of creativity, technical issues, and social skills.  

Cool Girl Photo Shoots...
Cool Girls Use White Lenses

Someone Forgot Their Boots

Those days are over.  The cool girls have taken over, and they are better than you and they are better than me.  I am not kidding about this--they are more creative, more fun, more interesting, more appealing, and more, well, cool.  Empowered by that knowledge and also by an icy disregard for it, they bring a cool aesthetic to photography that is  unencumbered by creativity busters such as guide numbers, circles of confusion, and the scheimpflug principle.  They are bold, social, and fearless.  They are amazing.  They are part of a generation who was raised to believe that they can do anything they want, and they are still young enough to believe that's true.

Mildly Obese Middle Aged Man 

I, on the other hand, am not so fortunate.  I have actually applied the scheimpflug principle, and, alas, enjoyed it.  I will never be a cool girl.  I will not be asked to join in their cool photo shoots.  If present at their photo shoot, I will be asked to leave.  No, I am destined to focus my lens--literally, figuratively, and sometimes manually--on the uncool.  Subjects forgotten and forlorn, and yet, I hope, still somewhat relevant in the uncool corners of the world. 

My Photo Shoots...

Do not think I am sad about this.  I am, of course, but it doesn't help you to think I am.  Besides, my wife and I had a great time in Vegas.  We saw cool girls, cool stuff, a cool show, cool architecture, and ate some great food.  She had to wait for me a lot, but she was cool about it.    

Self Portrait

The Original is Unfaithful to the Translation

My Wife, Waiting