Eternal Dark Shines on the Teenager's Mind

Let me tell you something that your shrink won't no matter how much you pay: Don't let a 13-year-old girl watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I realized how dangerous it can get when I was back home making fun of my cousin's pictures on Facebook as she told me that she wanted to dye her hair green. Looking at her pictures, I also realized that people-or at least my cousin and her friends-don't really know how to take good pictures. Therefore here are some basic problems with amateur photographers and solutions I'd suggest:

My Parents Don't Understand Me So I Better Take a Picture of Myself!

This is probably a 13-year-old girl who, when it comes to taking a picture of herself, obviously sucks. Puberty is a tough process, I know. Even though only thing you do is slam doors in people's faces for no reason, not all of the guys can make it through. However, that doesn't mean that you should go and take a picture of yourself. And if you really do need to take one, then follow my instructions: Taking a good picture of yourself depends very much on analyzing the shape of your nose. So before you start shooting, practice

several angles in front of a mirror to see which one suits your nose-if any. For instance, it's impossible for me to do that without the help of an expert. But thank God, I've got friends who know how to use Photoshop. If you are having such problems too, then either find an altruistic friend like mine or simply Google "how to fix a nose in Photoshop." But my advice would be not to bother.

On the other hand, I'm aware of the fact that most of you guys are into your 20s, so what I'd really appreciate is to read out what I'm about to say loudly every time you see a teenager (It would also be a nice gesture if you could e-mail this to all your friends): Guys, please just don't grab the camera nearest you to take a picture of yourself whenever you feel that your parents don't really get you and you are an outsider. Instead, do what normal people do, go shopping; because the Web is filled with useless, mass-produced pictures of you, which can easily be reduced to two or three (Scientists are working on this).

It's A Bird... It's A Plane... It's Superman… No It's a Tourist Who Thinks He Looks Cool!

This one is one of the later stages of the disease that the 13-year-old-girl got where we gradually lose our hope for the patient. What do these guys think when taking such pictures like holding up the leaning Tower of Pisa? Does she think it looks original? Does the guy in brown really believe his co-workers would like it? Does the other guy behind them seriously think that his 7-year-old son would laugh a lot? So what? Anything can make a 7-year-old laugh.

I haven't checked any statistics but I'm sure it would say that Italy is exposed to thousands of tourists every year who are there solely for taking those pictures. What is even worse is that it takes 5 minutes to take that picture and then those people, to whom I'd like to refer to as pseudo-tourists, have four days more to spend which they wouldn't be expecting. It would be a good investment if some entrepreneurs could contrive daily tours to Tower of Pisa just to take cliché "holding up the leaning Tower of Pisa" pictures.

The difficulty with the photographs is that there are so many of them that it's almost impossible to be original. Therefore I don't really expect any of you to evolve into a Jan Saudek. But that really hurts me when people spend so much money and time on such photos, and what I would do if I really need to look cliché is to call that friend of mine who knows how to use Photoshop. I'd suggest you to do so, as well, or again, you can simply Google "how to take a cliché photo of 'holding up the leaning Tower of Pisa' in Photoshop." And hey, be careful with your nose.

Originally published: December 15, 2009

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