I’m always looking for ways to pass the time on an airplane. This particular flight left Denver just before sunset so I made a few photos out of the window before it went dark outside...nothing too amazing.
Later in the flight I noticed a woman across the aisle. She was clearly tired and moving from one position to another trying to find one that allowed her a few moments of comfortable rest. She came back to this position you see here a few times.
I couldn’t help but smile, recognizing that position, for having been in it so many times myself.
I wanted to make a picture of her and, because it was so dark, I figured no one would probably notice. I caught a break when the women sitting in the aisle seat next to me got up. I braced myself and took three frames - this one that was pretty horribly under-exposed (1/6 of a second at ISO 1250…the furthest I generally go with my 7D), and then two with a more reasonable exposure, but such a slow shutter speed that they were too blurry for what I was after.
This blog post could EASILY be about the ninja techniques I used to rescue this photo (shot JPG, not RAW), but I wanted instead to talk about the difference between a FUN picture and a FUNNY picture.
Funny pictures are meant to elicit a laugh. They get their impact from humor. It’s important to be sensitive to how you pull off these pictures so it doesn’t become a picture that is making fun OF someone. The easiest way to measure the difference between the two is to imagine YOU were the subject of the picture. If you’d feel humiliated by the picture, you may want to reconsider whether it’s really a picture to share with the world (maybe just keep it for yourself).
As an aside, I’m not one to propose editing yourself during the photography process - i.e., decide whether or not you should make a given picture. I tend to suggest that, in most cases, DO make the picture. You can deliberate later the merits of sharing it later. But, if you don’t have the picture in the first place……
So, getting back to FUN v. FUNNY.
This picture falls more into the FUN category. Fun pictures aren’t necessarily intended to evoke a big laugh….more like a smile. They are moments we enjoy because the represent something universal — something we can relate to in one way or another. They are pictures that trigger an “Ohhh, yeah…I’ve been there” emotion, typically manifesting itself in a smile, grin brought on by good-hearted empathy.
I like these pictures because they are less situational and more about us as human - in all our ridiculousness.