This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen.
July 25, 2000 9:52 PM   Subscribe

This reminded me of one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Once on vacation in Eastern Oregon, there was a total eclipse of the moon, just like this one. And some people nearby were taking photographs of it. Flash photographs. The round-trip time to the moon at the speed of light is 3 seconds and I wouldn't even want to calculate the attenuation caused by 320,000 miles of range. Sometimes it seems as if some people are completely and totally clueless about what they're doing.
posted by Steven Den Beste (12 comments total)
Sometimes autofocus cameras will flash automatically, and there's really no point in taking a minute to turn it off.
posted by mecran01 at 6:01 AM on July 26, 2000

Agreed, Mecran. I don't even know how to turn the autoflash off on my camera. I don't think there is a way. So lay off us flash-impaired photographers, Stephen! So what if we look stupid?! =) So what if we're taking pictures that will come out to be little more than a black circle on a black background with some fuzzy stuff around it and we'll look at the pictures once and forget about it? It's FUN!

*click* FLASH * click* FLASH *click* FLASH "Ooh look honey! A Rainbow!" *click* FLASH *
posted by ZachsMind at 7:20 AM on July 26, 2000

There's a foolproof way to turn off an auto camera's flash - works every time. You do it with a handy gadget you may already own one, or even two of: your thumb.


posted by Mars Saxman at 9:42 AM on July 26, 2000

Many of the inexpensive cameras change exposure modes when you turn the flash off. If the camera thinks it can correct a low light situation with the flash its going to set a short exposure. If the subjuct is more than about 15' away the flash doesn't make any difference and if you don't turn it off, you're not going to get much on film (or CCD).

Worst are the people who disrupt public performances by taking useless pictures with their flash on.

I'll admit it is easy to forget though. I need to learn that I can pre-focus my camera cause otherwise it doesn't take the picture when I want it to...
posted by mutagen at 9:49 AM on July 26, 2000

Hee... hee...
Stupid things that people do...
Well Steven, your people using a flash on the moon story (reminded by the eclipse), reminded me of something....I visited a friend's house and was yelled at for answering their phone...

*because I didn't wait for the second ring*.

People are pretty anal about that, but can never explain why. :0)
posted by CyberPal at 9:52 AM on July 26, 2000

Yeah, that happens, I can't stand to hear the phone ring. I tell you, after my first trillion, I'm moving to Pitcarin Islands and building myself a 1 bedroom home. That's it. MY DREAM.
posted by tiaka at 9:58 AM on July 26, 2000

Far worse than taking flash photography of the moon was one time we were at a museum or science exhibit or something where they were projecting interesting stuff onto a big screen. They even told the audience ahead of time that using a flash would result in a big blank screen because the flash is so much brighter than the projector, yet constantly throughout the show: flash flash flash flash. That's a lot of pictures of blank screens. I can just imagine what they thought when they got it developed. "Honey, what exactly where you trying to take a picture of here?"
posted by daveadams at 10:35 AM on July 26, 2000

During the big Leonid meteor shower last year, the Adler Planetarium in Chicago held a "meteor watch" at its lakefront site. It would have been halfway decent if it hadn't been partly cloudy. Unfortunately, I was lying on my back on the slope leading down to the lake trying to shield my eyes from all the ambient light (streetlights, city glow, etc.) when what should appear but a -100 magnitude star ... er, that would be the camera light on the WGN crew filming me sitting on the ground trying to shield my eyes from the light. It took me nearly five minutes to recover my night-sky eyes, and by then the cloudiness was worse than ever. I left.
posted by dhartung at 11:40 AM on July 26, 2000

An ex-girlfriend once took me out to see the Pleiades one night (I think I spelled that correctly). I didn't really understand what she meant at first. We drove out to this lake way out in east Texas somewhere. As far away from any major metropolitan area as we could get. It was a great evening. A bunch of falling debris in space filling up the night sky like thousands of falling stars at once. Nature's fireworks display. Would like to do that again some time. No flashbulbs that night. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 12:40 PM on July 26, 2000

stupid camera tricks: I have a bad habit of pointing cameras out the portholes of airplanes. a few months after getting my fancy digital camera, I had a dusk-ish flight out of Austin and so was playing with the camera as we sat on the runway waiting to leave. Explored the long-exposure settings, saw that the blurs that would be produced by long exposure from a moving plane would be just blurry and not artsy, so I set it back to normal exposure. I didn't know that this would turn the flash back on until I took another picture. The lady sitting next to me reading a newspaper printed in kanji reached over, tapped me, and shook her head no, frowning theatrically. ohboy. i felt about three inches tall.

beware the DC290's auto-embarrass feature!
posted by Sapphireblue at 3:00 PM on July 26, 2000

I was at Carlsbad Caverns when the hundreds of thousands of bats take flight every evening. The park ranger asked people to turn off their flashes on their cameras as it bothers the bats. Sure enough, about two seconds later *FLASH* *FLASH* *FLASH*, as you would expect.Most people are utterly clueless morons. If you can't bother to learn how to operate your camera correctly, please don't bother taking pictures.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 5:58 PM on July 26, 2000

Geeze, how many people would use anything if that were the case for every electronic (or otherwise) gadget or appliance.

I hate it when people use their flash in a public space too when they aren't supposed to, but it's nothing new that people are stupid as all hell. We all are sometimes......and we all have our areas of downright ignorance. Just happens some people aren't that interested in photography......and obviously they need to design better camera's (they could call them "Duh" models) for photography-stupid people.

posted by lucien at 9:22 PM on August 3, 2000

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