Saturday, April 16, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


A while back I was photographing Hummingbirds in my backyard and I was finding myself getting a bit bored. I figured that it was due to my off-the-charts high IQ, while my friends just figured that I was an unfocused clod. Perhaps the real answer lies somewhere between.


Anyway, I set about trying to get a photo of a Hummingbird drinking out of a straw in a glass. Sure, I could have just photoshopped it, but that would have been more work than I was interested in. As I started building my prop drink with a straw, I encountered a couple of problems. I wanted to put ice in the drink, and I didn’t want the sugar water in the straw to be cold. Also, I needed the sugar water to be at the top of the straw, which basic physics sort of prevented

Hey! This was the straw to MY drink!

Having glanced through a copy of Scientific American once in the waiting room of the dentist, I knew that I was going to have to apply some fancy engineering. I plugged a straw with wax to allow it to be filled to the top with sugar water, and weighed it down with a big nail so that it wouldn’t float. Now, all I had to do was wait for a Hummingbird to find it. It also gave me a chance to grow that beard I always wanted.

Going for the hard stuff now - sugar shots

When I finally got some shots, I proudly posted one on my Flickr page with the title, “I Hope This Makes You Smile.” It was wildly popular – too popular in fact. I got aver 100,000 hits on my photo in just one day. Then people started illegally downloading the file and selling it themselves. They accused me of faking the photo.
  
I had to drink a LOT of beer to find just the right can
 (it's filled with sugar water)

After a day of fame (and no fortune), I pulled the photo from my site. Then the real fun began. Someone posted my home phone number, address and e-mail account. I got death threats, calls at night and someone hacked my account and stole all of my photos. I realized that most of these idiots were probably just teenagers in their underwear living in their mother’s basements, but isn’t that the way most members of the Manson Family started out?

People tell me that I drink too much of this stuff
(also sugar water)

So now, the Hummers drink out of EVERYTHING. They have no sense of MY stuff vs. THEIR stuff. Live and learn would probably be the lesson, but I tend not to learn from my mistakes.

There are more lots stories available on this site. I apologize if they suck, but I write them myself. Maybe it's just my way of getting back at the world. Since I get paid every time someone clicks on one of my sponsor's links, please take the time to visit one or two so that I don't have to get a real job.

You can see thousands of my photos at http://www.stevebyland.com/  They are all available for sale as prints or licence. I have a section where you can find birds by species or hard-to-find vertical shots for your next magazine cover

 

1 comment:

  1. Very clever! You got my wheels spinning now.

    ReplyDelete