Alternate title: embarrassing myself in front of the pros.
I read an opinion online (probably on Fark) that Texans are a unique breed. They’re overly proud of themselves – not for what they’ve done or what they can to, but because of where they live. As if they have an overly-inflated sense of value ’cause their state is big. And the only people worse than Texans, according to this opinion, are Alaskans: convinced that they’re something special because they can somehow survive in a giant, frozen state.
There’s some truth to this. For the better part of the last two decades, I could easily leave state (well, to anywhere other than Hawaii) and say “I’m from Alaska.” The response: instant fawning. Usually you become the life of the party, making up crap about how hard the winters are (they’re not usually hard in Anchorage, just long – it’s usually far worse in the midwest).
Don’t do this with a well-travelled person. Like I did, with Moose Petersen. Yes, I made an ass of myself to the moose, but I learned something in the process. Imagine this conversation:
Me: so, I’m from Alaska.
Moose: yeah, so?
Me: um, so we have a bunch of unique lighting up here and I was wondering…
Moose: No you don’t.
Me: Um, nevermind, I’ll go away now.
Moose: You had a question. Ask it.
Me: um, I was wondering… how to properly shoot… snow?
Moose: who cares? Snow is snow, it’s white. If you blow it out, who gives a rip? Everyone knows what it is?
Me: I’m going to slink away now…
Well, that’s pretty much what happened. Wording has been changed (feeble memory and all that), but there are some important lessons in there. I walked away with these thoughts:
- Seriously, who cares about properly exposing snow? I mean, unless it’s the primary subject. Even then, who cares? Duh.
- Who cares that I’m from Alaska? Moose doesn’t. Shoot, his photographer base camp was in Anchorage last year and it easily looked like one of the tamer places he’s been.
- Don’t try to out-cool Moose. He camps with bears. I avoid biking trails where bears occasionally wander.
Since this conversation, I’ve read at least two articles since our exchange where the mighty Moose has talked about properly exposing for snow.