December 25, 2009 1:07 AM   Subscribe

Haha! I enjoyed that. A most agreeable little diversion.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, gomichild, and all youse other Mefites!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:12 AM on December 25, 2009

Moderately amusing of web.
posted by disillusioned at 1:16 AM on December 25, 2009

Well we don't want to be chortling too much after our roast chook dinners here in Japan... メリクリスマス flapjax!
posted by gomichild at 1:50 AM on December 25, 2009

Well done.

I would return the camera on general principle, but that would make my day.
posted by bwg at 2:01 AM on December 25, 2009

It's amusing and clever, but there are obvious problems:

1) most people don't know how to display images on a strange camera they found in a taxi

2) if they get past that, what order do you put them in? Backwards so it makes sense if you hit last picture over and over, or in order with the thought they'd figure out how to get to the first image.

3) Let's say you keep those photos as the first 20 shots on your card. You go on vacation and shoot 250 new photos. How diligent do you think people picking up a found camera will be to even find those first few shots (especially when they're not even looking for them since this isn't really a Thing People Do With Their Cameras).

But it's hilarious and my hat's off to the guy for a good idea, I just don't know how well it'd go in practice. Maybe just etching the back of the camera with your name and email would be a better theft deterrent as well as reward gatherer.
posted by mathowie at 2:07 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

One day, the phone rang, and a little boy answered.

"May I speak to your parents?"
"They're busy."
"Oh. Is anybody else there?"
"The police."
"Can I speak to them?"
"They're busy."
"Oh. Is anybody else there?"
"The firemen."
"Can I speak to them?"
"They're busy."

"So let me get this straight — your parents, the police, and the firemen are there, but they're all busy? What are they doing?"

"Lookin for me."
posted by netbros at 2:39 AM on December 25, 2009 [4 favorites]

Why not just inscribe your email address on the camera body. They have inexpensive tools that do this. They're easily cheaper than a new camera.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Merry Today to those that don't.
posted by Splunge at 2:53 AM on December 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

No meme for you.
posted by Clave at 3:14 AM on December 25, 2009

Obviously what you do is put these pictures on a special separate memory card, and then simply make sure to put that memory card in just before you lose the camera.
posted by chrismear at 3:34 AM on December 25, 2009 [12 favorites]

I think it's clever....and funny... and more likely to encourage me to return that expensive camera than a name engraved on the camera (I really WANT an expensive camera, ya know....)

I think we should chip in and get mathowie a sense of humor....he seems to have misplaced his... or that WAS humor and I've misplaced mine :-\
posted by HuronBob at 3:54 AM on December 25, 2009

I think if I found a lost camera, I would look through all the shots in an attempt to identify the owner. And initiate a discussion about composition and lighting. Unless, of course, I found a business card in the camera case first, which is what I do. :)
posted by Ella Fynoe at 4:15 AM on December 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

I would ordinarily return the camera, but make an exception for this guy.
posted by unSane at 4:48 AM on December 25, 2009 [8 favorites]

Also, humbug.
posted by unSane at 4:48 AM on December 25, 2009

If I found a camera, the first thing I would do is look at all the pictures. Finding this series of photos, I would chuckle and send an e-mail promptly. Unless it was a Canon DSLR, then I might have a moment of moral panic.
posted by longsleeves at 6:14 AM on December 25, 2009 [7 favorites]

This is clever... but here is a tip that may help prevent loosing the camera in the first place: looping the shoulderstrap of your gadget bag* around your leg when you sit down or stand in one place, or the leg of your chair while you are sitting on it, keeps casual pickpockets from walking off with it while you're distracted. This also works for computer satchels, and backpacks in general.

(See? This is what happens when you spend highschool reading vintage photography magazines. You say things like "gadget bags" unironically.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:16 AM on December 25, 2009

I would definitely look through the photos for clues if I found a camera.
posted by grouse at 7:56 AM on December 25, 2009

mathowie, I think you're underestimating most people's natural nosiness. Mystery camera? Hell yeah, I'm looking at the photos. And probably judging.
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:04 AM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Am I the only one that wanted more bathtub photos?
posted by cjorgensen at 9:23 AM on December 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the link. Now I can't get Subterranean Homesick Blues out of my head.
posted by Spatch at 9:43 AM on December 25, 2009 [4 favorites]

My mother-in-law found a fantastic camera a week after Christmas last year, looked through the photos and found nothing but a dozen random party shots. That could have been the end of it, but she posted an ad in the newspaper and when someone came to claim it, she was able to compare the face of the claimant with the faces she had seen on the pictures. That worked out nicely for everyone, although I imagine my m-i-l also would have sort of liked it if no one responded to the ad.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:43 AM on December 25, 2009

I actually have a camera that was left in a Las Vegas taxi a year ago ... undeleted the photos with Photorec, and you'd think with ~40 mini-movies and 200 photos there'd be enough to unravel the owner's identity. I work on it every now and then. One locked photo with an email address would have done it for me.

Cjorgensen: Maybe if you write the guy a nice letter you will get your [Non-Denominational Holiday Interval] wish.
posted by user92371 at 9:45 AM on December 25, 2009

If you find a camera and you can't find any information about the owner through the pictures, you can always try this blog.

Once I found a couple of memory cards on a park bench. It was in a college town, a few days after graduation. Luckily for the original owner, she was one of those people who takes pictures of everything, and she took a few photos of her name in graduation program. I figured out her name pretty quickly (it was centered, and her ethnicity definitely helped), and I dropped it off at the alumni office. She's pretty fortunate I found it before it rained, those memory cards had hundreds of graduation pictures.

Still, as far as cameras go, I think it's a better idea to put your name and number somewhere on the outside of your camera, and on a business card inside your camera bag. Makes it easier for people who have trouble with technology.
posted by myelin sheath at 10:13 AM on December 25, 2009

Nah. Best to stick in some shots of a hot babe undressing.

Thief much more likely to get in touch then.
posted by HTuttle at 10:23 AM on December 25, 2009

I keep a piece of paper in my wallet with the following written on it:

"Hi, it looks like you've found my wallet. What a lucky day for you! Please help yourself to the cash if you are that kind of person (unless I have like 500 dollars in here for some reason I mean come on man how much money do you need) but if you are at least mail me my driver's license and health card because you must know those things are hella annoying to replace.
[my address]
[my email address]
If you are a nice person you can return the wallet to me in person and I will probably give you some cash anyway, and then you won't go to hell!"
posted by tehloki at 10:40 AM on December 25, 2009 [7 favorites]

I wrote my phone number on the camera's rechargeable battery.
posted by jjj606 at 11:54 AM on December 25, 2009

There's an easier but less fun way. Most cameras let you customize the image that shows briefly when you turn it on. Just make a JPG with your contact info on it and set it to be the startup image.

This works for your computer too. Set your "password hint" to be "If found, please call..." and it will show up when someone fails to log in a few times.
posted by endquote at 2:11 PM on December 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:07 PM on December 25, 2009

That was hilarious, practical or not.
posted by biochemist at 4:12 PM on December 25, 2009

BitterOldPunk: *yoink*

Dude - on Christmas?? Wow, that's cold!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:40 PM on December 25, 2009

I might have wanted the camera, but I would have emailed right away and let him know it was safe and sound, just on the strength of the photos.

In the same respect, there might be some pics he couldnt unsee on it once I gave it back, no reward accepted other than maybe a handshake.

About an hour later I would be going "heh" right as he started pouring bleach into his eyes.
posted by timsteil at 7:56 PM on December 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I found this humorous enough, however this bit in the sidebar gave me an "oh god what" moment:

Andrew MacDonald is an author, writer and biped from Melbourne, Australia. His first novel for children is called The Greatest Blogger in the World.

Did we really need a children's book about blogging? Really?
posted by Target Practice at 9:22 PM on December 26, 2009

One picture, or three, or twenty, OK maybe - this many, I feel I can't risk feeding your narcissism problem by returning the camera.
posted by Phanx at 2:17 AM on December 27, 2009

Just picking a nit here, but... This isn't so much a guide as a... uhm, a device? A system? Something like that. You know, a method to hopefully cause the returning of the camera, thereby "avoiding camera loss". Not really a "guide to avoiding camera loss", which makes me think more of a tutorial explaining how to avoid losing your camera in the first place.
posted by mindwarp at 9:02 AM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

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