Holy Aperture, Batman!
If Batman and Robin weren’t so busy tracking down evil, maybe they’d take up fishing, hunting, and photography in Idaho! If they ever do, I hope the Diligent Duo remember to laugh now and then in their grim pursuit of elusive pictures.
by Sharon Watson
Maybe we photographers don’t need to guffaw continuously, but most of us take things a bit too seriously, don’t you think?
In that vein, I suggest a photographic self-assignment. Can you take an outdoor picture that will make sportsmen laugh out loud? People try not to laugh too easily (they might be laughed at), so the task may be difficult. It could require such hard thinking and planning that you’re right back where you started – straining for a good photograph.
Successful humor, though, is everlasting and worth the effort. I have a few photos in my files of Idaho sportsmen that make me laugh to tears every time I look at them. (A few can’t be published due to public sensibilities.) Some are funny only to me in the capture of friends’ personality traits. A few others might make anyone laugh. Even if no one laughs but the photographer, these comic gems have served their purpose. They become treasured reminders to round out life with a smile.
"Phunny Photo" opportunities rarely occur on their own in the outdoors. When they do, it’s only by chance that a photographer is quick and lucky enough to capture them. So, it’s mostly up to us to set up more of these outdoors giggly-glossies!
I admit this is a new way of thinking for me. Getting good fishing and hunting action shots is hard enough – deadly serious, really. You mean I have to look for, and even set up, the hilarious as well? Forget it. But then I remember laughter. OK, so I’ll watch for one more thing!
In order to spot wild-and-craaaaazzy sportspeople shots, you have to become mentally more "loose" in general. It’s a child’s game, essentially, and a refreshing one for solemn adults.
In seeking humor, I try to go beyond the merely cute or sentimental. They’re not the side-busters. I confess I began learning to "lapse" into fotographic fun from our friend and fellow Idaho shutterbug, Dewey Haeder. Talk about "wild" and "CRAZY!" A loon is quite sane compared to Dewey.
Friends posing for humorous field-shots need to be in similar good spirits. If they’re in a bass tournament, you’re flat out of luck. If the clock just struck noon on opening day of pheasant season, you might as well ditch the cameras for a couple hours. But in and around these most serious of times, there’s plenty of room for camera fun and games.
Leapin’ Lenscap! – your next Idaho venture could put some of these thigh-slappers into your own photo album!
Dewey Haeder and Lewis Watson demonstrate their innovative show-and-tell dog training technique. While Lew shouts garbled instructions to develop staunchness, Dewey displays perfect field trial stance for his mixed-ancestry wonderdog, "Ebby."
Taking a break from pheasant hunting, Dewey spits corn kernels at just the right moment.
Hey, Big guy! Howlongdjafight’im?
Zowie! Backing away slowly, this hunter is having second thoughts about stalking mule deer in thick brush.