Black hood…..trying to see no evil


The ironic combination of telephone and camera diametrically opposes the powerful principle of seeing, speaking and hearing no evil…indeed, it facilitates seeing, speaking and hearing evil. That all three of these transgressions can be done anonymously has not gone unnoticed by the twittering classes. But, as in all such contentious questions, we can rest assured that it will not be us who transgress.It’s that minority again. I wish I know where this powerful and influential minority resides, but wherever they are it’s surprising that they have gone unnoticed, because unnoticed they most certainly have gone or they would have been found and stopped.

My current relationship with the camera telephone would only enable me to speak evil to myself, which I can already do quite well and that without the aid of a telephone. Hearing evil with my telephone is harder as it rarely rings and if it does I don’t hear it because it’s tucked away somewhere safe in case one of the minority tries to steal it. Sharing evil speech with others does not come easily either, as I am still mastering the “touch screen” contacts which clumsy efforts invariably lead to yet another call for an ambulance or a fire engine.I’m reasonably sure that the French ambulance and fire services have spoken evil to me, but I haven’t heard them. I do, however, see evil. If the definition of evil includes the term bad, then every picture I take with the camera telephone is an expression of evil. For them to cease being evil I have to lead them gently to the path of righteousness through careful manipulation, although this righteousness often does not include the virtue of focus.


I persevere because I think I should, in the way that younger people go to the gym. Being that photography, of all kinds, is very much within my remit, it frustrates me that I am failing to master a reasonably simple device. It’s modernity, however, is starting to come into question. I have found that the only way that I can see the screen clearly, when outside on a hazy sunny day, is to revert to putting a black cloth over my head as was the way when I worked with a plate camera. In the picture that I have taken to demonstrate this technique, with a self timer on a camera without a telephone in it, you will notice that the Blackberry telephone camera is out of focus….it’s as though…..


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Digital photography, France, French countryside, Humour, Landscapes, Photography, photography course, Photoshop, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Black hood…..trying to see no evil

  1. Dick Polak says:

    Your grass is always so much greener than mine !

  2. I’m starting to fully understand the “why” of technological difficulty between a younger and older crowd. It’s not because younger people are more flexible or keen. No, it’s because an established audience has a backlog of learnt technology and it adds up like storage in a spare room. Learning on such small technological curves is like putting away a package in an overstuffed closet. I remember the old cartoon gag where a resident would be buried in their possessions, if they were to open that door.

  3. Mad Dog says:

    I carry a reasonably expensive Lumix around with me (the one with manual settings), but I do wish they’d included a viewfinder for sunny days. Generally though, it is a good camera, that occasionally needs a dark cloth 😉
    I did try taking a couple of pictures with my Samsung phone (which is supposed to have a good camera), but the autofocus didn’t 😦

  4. Misky says:

    I often forget to charge mine, so it becomes a useless lump of weight in my purse.


  5. Michelle says:

    There’s a good reason that Instagram is so popular. You can cover up all sorts of evils with the little filters.

  6. Eha says:

    Your phone speaks with a smile . . . and it prefers the grass it sees enviably green 🙂 !

  7. aaah I am feeling less bad about my refusal to get one of those phones. When all my family & friends rave about them & call me a luddite I will remember that shot above.

  8. Yes, shooting in sunlight is a major pain with smart phones! I just aim and pray when there’s a lot of glare. 🙂 Have never shot with a BlackBerry, but I love the iPhone. It does take time getting used to, though.

  9. I’m of two minds re the camera phones – I love the accessibility and spur of the moment “capture” that it allows, but then now suddenly everyone is a “photographer!” Which is both good and not so good:)

  10. I really had to laugh, reading your post fighting the touch screen , taking somehow okay or not okay pictures with your phone. Though I really relate to the times of the big cameras with a dark cloth over me , where I got a bit of this Ansel Adams feeling!!!

  11. Sally says:

    Not sure who said ‘the best camera is the one you have on you’ but it’s the advantage of having an ok camera on your phone. I forgot to charge my DSLR battery pre-visiting a most beautiful location and spare had conked out. If it hadn’t been for iphone I would have been weeping. You might find this site by food photographer David Griffen interesting (although not updated for a while)

    • I so agree with the “best camera” maxim, and I’ve found that my phone has helped me a couple of times. With regard to David Griffen’s site..they are very nice instagrams that come out of every one’s studio each day…for the most part they look good because of the apps and I’m never that impressed with it. I think this saying sums it up ” An amateur thinks that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. A professional thinks that it may not be worth doing at all” 🙂

  12. Karen says:

    Oh thank goodness that I’m not the only one that questions their modern cell phone. I loved your first photo as everything in your lovely countryside is so lush and green. Here, there are still large patches of snow and brown grass. 🙂

  13. ChgoJohn says:

    That last photo cracked me up, Roger, though I know exactly what you mean. I’ve a hard enough time trying to get an OK photo with my iPhone. If the sun is shining, forget it. Who’s brilliant idea was it to make phones with a fancy display that can’t be used in the daylight? Dracula?

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