Monthly Archives: December 2007
On South African beaches it is not at all uncommon to see African women venturing into the water in their underwear.
As an active Flickr member I am always dismayed when I come across an account belonging to what I call a collector. This is someone who has created a free account, not added a custom icon or profile details and has posted no photographs. They simply collect huge numbers of favourites, usually of a narrow set of subject matter, often of the eye candy variety.
This morning such a person added some of my photographs of female surfers to their favourites. I found that this person has almost 8,000 favourites but that gathering favourites is their only activity on Flickr. As someone whose images have been targeted by this person I am curious as to what the purpose of the collection is. In the case of this person, the favourites are largely photographs containing women wearing tight clothing. Among the targets are surfers, triathletes, women swimming with dolphins and women dressed as superheroes. It almost conjures up visions of some socially inadequate guy living in his Mom’s basement, sitting in front of his computer wearing women’s underwear and a leather mask; frantically rubbing himself while scrolling through his thousands of favourites, deriving sexual pleasure from images that are not sexy at all to the average person. Freaky!
As Flickr is a photo sharing site, I am certainly not in favour of these collectors and tend to ban them when I find them targeting my images. This doesn’t mean I ban everyone with favourites but no images of their own. If someone has a varied, and reasonably small collection of favourites, that’s fine. It’s the creepy ones with the huge, narrow and vaguely fetishy collections that I object to.
This couple were walking towards me and stopped for him to adjust something on her hat. I thought it would make a nice photo and she seemed rather bemused to be in front of my lens.
I found a half-eaten apple on the beach and shot five exposures, positioning the apple differently for each. I then combined these as layers to form this final image.
I was in the mall this morning, waiting my turn for the ATM. Alongside waiting her turn at another bank’s ATM was an absolutely stunning woman, definitely not a girl, and I didn’t even think of her as a young woman; she was somewhere in her late twenties or early thirties I would say. She was wearing a denim miniskirt and heeled slip-on sandals, between which were the most gorgeous pair of long, sculpted, perfectly tanned legs. As she took her turn at the ATM she lifted her heels off the soles of her shoes, standing on tiptoe, which only served to show off the muscular definition in her legs even more. I couldn’t help but admire these lovely legs and figure, and the lovely face and cute, short, blonde hair style that was revealed when she turned away from the ATM.
As she moved away she stopped opposite me to talk to someone she knew while she was putting her money away. She dropped a coin the landed up between us. Being a gentleman, not to mention in thrall of her legs, I bent to pick it up and placed it in her hand, to which she said "Dankie Oom" and suddenly I felt really old. If mature women are calling me Oom, then I must look a lot older than I feel.
I should probably explain this for the benefit of non-South African readers. Afrikaans people use the terms Oom (Uncle) and Tannie (Auntie) as a sign of respect for older people. In some ways it is similar to the English Sir and Madam although perhaps less formal and carrying more of a connotation of respect for elders than respect for a stranger or person in a position of authority. As an English-speaking South African I understand that it is a sign of respect but I still find it unnerving to be called Oom by someone I would consider an equal. It is understandable for a child or youth to use this form of address to an adult but I would not expect another adult to address me in this way, even if there is a ten or fifteen year gap in our ages.