Well, I looked up this word “photobomb” and I was right. This wasn’t a word before, say, 2001. Developing film was just too expensive to tolerate some idiot jumping into your picture, bombing one of your precious 24 photos per roll.
Nowadays, everyone snaps a photo of their lunch, so who cares if picture seventeen of fifty eight of the same thing is bombed. Hysterical! Amusing at least!
For some reason, the idea of photobombing in my mind is connected to the cartoons of Gary Larson, who created some of the greatest single panel visual jokes in modern history, entitled as a group “The Far Side”. Many of the cartoons feature animals in a human situation with an ironic twist related to their species characteristics. I am sure you remember him. His career encompassed most of our late teens and young adulthood, generally a less serious time of life, so perhaps I was inclined to laugh more.
Well, actually I looked up a bunch of them on line and they are still very very funny.
I can’t reproduce them here, so I’ll have to tell and not show. Apparently Mr. Larson is distressed by seeing them used all over the internet without his permission. Fair enough.
In any case, I find myself especially amused by the bird themed cartoons. A duck bringing chicken soup to his indisposed duck friend tucked into bed, and saying “It’s no one we know”. Two birds driving a Cadillac, one complaining of the sun and her “migration headache”. Birds human-watching, with binoculars and maps.
It was hard not to think of the Larson cartoons when I took this photograph:
This bird, in true Larson-esque fashion, believes in his heart of hearts that if he stands very very very still and sticks his beak up in the air, he will be mistaken for grass.
“Point your beak up straighter Jeffrey! Your sister really looks like grass, try to be more like her!”
One of the problems with this bird is that he SOUNDS (and I do say “he”) like a belching walrus when springtime arrives, which sort of gives away the “look like some grass” strategy, in my mind. Of course I am not a predator of this bird, but consider that another animal might be. Will the predators overlook some grass that sounds like a belching walrus? I have some doubt about that. Maybe the risk is worth it for the right gal.
“Oh Jeffrey, every time you go by that girl’s family nest you give away your position! Do you expect to LIVE to reproduce?”
In case you were wondering, this bird is called the American Bittern. I have no idea why and haven’t googled it.
Then there are the Far Side reminders that are a side effect of my limited photo taking experience.
A personal challenge for me as I venture into bird photography has been getting more than one species in a photo. Somehow this goal reflects a personal photo-bio-diversity that I want, or maybe I am biting off more than I can chew, not an unfamiliar tendency in my life. This early effort below resulted in what can only be described as a Far Side cartoon brought to life.
“Barbara! Barbara! Did you get my picture with EVIE EGRET? IN the SAME PHOTO?!! OH MY GOD!”
Damn photobomber! The nerve!