Pop/Flash/Chop

You know what’s a big problem in my life?  That novelty shutter noise that my phone camera makes.  Why do these people think we even have cameras on our phones if not to take covert photos of people to blog about later?  Get it together, phone-making eggheads!  Also the sooner you come up with some sort of portable tripod the better – I can’t tell you how many elusive shots I’ve missed while trying to creep stealthily behind someone and also keep my phone perfectly still with one hand while the other one pretends to look for something in my handbag.  In fact a handbag with a build-in tripod/shoulder strap would really be ideal in terms of functional design.  Now that I’m this far down the track it appears it would be easier if I just mounted a camera inside my bag, cut a discreet hole for my tiny but military-spec zoom lens, and got to upskirting already.

You can see from the pie-chart below, painstakingly graphed after hours spent gathering empirical data, that the wretched fake SHAZAMPHOTOPOP! noise is almost solely responsible for my blog posting frequency, which can most generously be described as “sporadic to rare”.

(There were a scattering of results found for laziness, lack of ideas, too much time wasted on Facebook, too much time wasted on watching documentaries about Will and Kate on YouTube etc, but they were negligible in comparison to the key factors illustrated above).

But seriously.  It’s 2012.  My phone is reasonably hi-tech.  Of course if you’re reading this anytime from 2013 onwards, it’s not hi-tech anymore – Google reel-to-reel player or gramophone, it’s kind of like that only slightly more technologically developed, and it fits inside your pocket and you can send telegrams on it and shit.  THANKS FOR NOTHING, PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE.  For now though, it’s aight.  I am also evolved enough as a human to realise that when I press the “take picture” button in the camera part of said reasonably predictable device, I am committing to taking a photo.  I go to all the effort of manually turning the flash off, committing myself to minutes of toil later on re-lightening in the editing* process, only to be outed by a sound effect!

*editing rule of thumb: if it’s too dark to see what it is, saturate it arbitrarily until you can see what it is.  If you can see what it is, leave that shit alone.  It looks good.

Here are some potentially classic shots stymied by this epic flaw in phone design:


Her shirt says “RISE UP ON COMA, FORTUNATE”


His shirt says ‘To play is to act like hapy…to act like hapy is to play!”


The big fail here is how almost reasonable this outfit looks.  In real life it was simply repugnant.  She was about 53!  It was 2pm!  But I needed less noise and more time to really frame this evocatively.


This one is quite psychological.  I attempted to surreptitiously take a photo of a lady using a tripod and a hand-timer to take selfies at a merchandise stand at a local shopping mall.  I know there must be a message here…


The riskiest photo I ever took.  This is almost certainly the first time I saw a triad “big brother” or possibly even a “white paper fan”.  He was surrounded by four “little brothers” who formed a loose mobile square around him.  The only reason I’m still alive to write this post is because I hid across the street inside a bakery, behind a fortified wall of very stolid rye loaves, and used my superzoom.  I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to imagine I would have been chopped on the spot if I had dared to take my SHAZAMPHOTOPOP! onto the street.  I nearly do the job myself multiple times a day when I realise all the missed golden opportunities to showcase Hong Kong’s sartorial misconception er culture.

This post brought to you NO THANKS TO SAMSUNG GALAXY.

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44 Comments Add yours

  1. Jackie says:

    The only explanation for why they make it so hard to turn that sound off is because they want to discourage discreet picture taking. Well, screw them!

    If you have the Galaxy S II, this should work:
    1. Create a file called “local.prop” in /data/ if it doesn’t exist. Example: “/data/local.prop”
    2. Open the file “/data/local.prop”
    3. add the line to the file:
    Code:
    ro.camera.sound.forced=0
    4. Reboot and all sound in the camera app is completely silent.
    5. To recover the sound, you can either delete the local.prop file or change the code to:
    Code
    ro.camera.sound.forced=1

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Jackie, you outstanding woman! You must be some sort of deviant to have such instructions ready to hand 😉 JOKES. How great. I would say I’m going to try this ASAP but to be honest I can’t even find /data so I’m going to have to wait until my husband stops watching True Blood or whatever and helps me out 😉 THANK YOU!

  2. Wanderlust says:

    I love this. And I HATE that sound. When I first got my cell phone I took a picture of myself trying on a bathing suit in a dressing room (to text to my husband, who insisted), and the noise was SOOO loud that everyone in the dressing room stopped talking. Shame!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Ah Wandy, I feel a tinge of sadness about the bathing suit scenario. Can picture the scene though. Everyone must’ve thought you were upskirting yourself! I must admit in a similar vein, I usually suspend proceedings when someone in an adjoining toilet cubicle answers their phone or is blatantly texting or something. Come on now. NOTHING IS THAT IMPORTANT!

  3. Wanderlust says:

    P.S. love the pie chart!!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      I love pie.

  4. Stacey says:

    That pie chart is perfect! Too funny!!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Thanks Stacey, I think it has been a missing element on the blog for too long…

  5. Jennifer Worrell says:

    Hilarious! I love the blurry shirts! Funny writing!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Thanks Jennifer 🙂

  6. Vanessa says:

    I’ve often wished that my phone didn’t make that noise. And that it would take pictures faster. But never fear, I have identified the vehicle my current “I have to get a picture of it or nobody will ever believe it!” drives. I will get that picture.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      GO VANESSA. You can do it!

  7. These pictures are much braver than anything I could have taken, sound or no sound. The pie chart is hysterical.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      You lose a lot of your care for discretion when you’re already a freak in the society in which you live. It’s only a matter of time before I ask people in bad t-shirts to stand still so I can take their picture.

  8. kristin says:

    Looks like one commenter has solved your problem! Does this mean more blogging in your future?

  9. jadeluxe says:

    Don’t hold your breath, Kristin, I really do love sleeping 😉

  10. I hate the camera on my phone for lots of reasons, but the weird noise is definitely one of them. Your pie chart made me smile. Erin

  11. heidi says:

    That outfit is intense for 2pm, right? I don’t know how to use the camera on my phone properly. I know people who can do all kinds of fancy tricks with it, but I am still completely inept. I’m all point and click, and that’s the best I can do.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      IN-TENSE. I’m the same with phones. Clearly. Someone above posted the solution to my problem and I can’t even work out how to do it 😉

  12. MMM, Pie….

    Sorry, what was I saying? Camera shutter noises suck. I’m always on vibrate. Err, rather, my phone is always on vibrate.

    WG

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Vibrate 4lyf.

  13. Mayor Gia says:

    You got some good pics! And i hate that i can’t figure out how to take that noise off my phone. Argh.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Even if people tell me how to do it, I can’t seem to work it out! Answer: some sort of noise-cushioning device covering the speaker?

  14. Hilarious. Seriously. You even graphed the hilarity. HA! And yeah, that noise is obnoxious. Like seriously. BUT it is the only way the phone people knew of to let us dummies know that we had successfully taken a picture, so alas.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      So obnoxious. Mine actually goes for about four seconds. It’s like kerching! Flash! Ping! What? Just put a tick icon or something!!

  15. Ado says:

    Oh god, was this one funny.
    I especially laughed at “she was 53! it was 2 pm!” – as if being 53 at 2 pm was a crime (which, in her case, it was – your photo sure caught that much!) I LOVE your PI style photography – blurry or not!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Cheers Ado. I intend to perfect the stealth shot somehow. With lots of practice I guess, since I still can’t figure out how to disarm the freaking thing.

  16. Delilah says:

    Love the pie chart! And I feel you. My iPhone makes the loudest noise ever when I take a picture. I missed out on so many fabulous People of Walmart moments because of it so I finally turned off all sound to my phone to capture the elusive photos. Haha!

  17. Stephanie says:

    You can turn off the sound. It makes it much easier to pretend-text-while-actually-taking-a-picture if you turn off the sound. Safer, too, since you obviously like taking high-risk photos. Ha!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      I seriously can’t work out how to turn off the sound! If I turn off phone sound, it still makes the noise. If I turn off sound to the actual camera, it just means my videos are all muted. I’m starting to think it really is activated using mechanical means inside the phone, like an actual shutter. Or a tiny little flashbulb inside there. FUCKING THING!

  18. You can send telegrams on it and shit – I busted out laughing. You always make me laugh – you’re hilarious!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      You’re very sweet Michelle…I’m so glad your brother didn’t harpoon you that time.

  19. Kathy Kramer says:

    The first thing I did was go look to see how I can turn the sound off of mine.

  20. HMM says:

    omg.. this made me laugh so hard as I was recently busted taking pictures of prisoners picking up trash. Totally busted. My husband threatened to leave me there.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      That’s almost worse than me taking a picture of the triad guy!! My husband would leave me there too, he hates the shameful photos I’m always pursuing. PRISONERS PICKING UP TRASH! Gold.

  21. BAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I feel your pain! That stupid shutter noise makes it hard for me to get pics of my kids, much less entertaining strangers.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      I didn’t even think to mention that! You’re right, it does ruin so many potentially great kid photos. That’s how I’ll explain it to them as adults when all they can find is crap blurry pictures of them running out of frame. Blame Samsung kids. Blame Samsung.

  22. Awesome pie chart! I love pie charts in posts!

    1. jadeluxe says:

      Pie charts are the best! This is the first time I’ve put one in a post. I bet I really overuse them now 😉

  23. I too am a fan of charts- pie or otherwise, and I must confess, my phone is closer to the Zach Morris phone from Saved by the Bell, than any current Iphone or the like. Taking pics on my phone just doesn’t happen.

    1. jadeluxe says:

      What about sketches Jackie? Discreet sketches? 😉

  24. That last photo is amazing – love the sign’s juxtaposition with his cane. I have no idea what triad of big brother you’re talking about…but I like the photo!

  25. jadeluxe says:

    You know, the higher-ranking “officers” in the triads here! It’s reasonably common to see a little brother but this is really the first big brother I’ve seen in three years. If he even is one! 😉

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