Difficult Photography Questions Answered Here Sort Of

Yup, that’s right. Our friend Where’s The Flash (WTF) peers into his alleged crystal ball and answers all of your questions about life, photography and anything made with tomato sauce. If he doesn’t know the answer, he’ll be proud to lie to you.

Dear WTF,
My gf is so dumb she believes mangos come from Mangolia. Anyway, me and her have a bet that you can’t take a picture in total darkness. She says you can. Winner gets dinner at Steak ‘n Shake.
(signed) Luke Warm

Dear Tepid,
Close your eyes. Can you see anything? Now press the shutter. She wins.


Dear WTF,
I’m just wondering, do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
(signed) J.W. in Albany

Dear Wondering,
Yes, I have three: 6 megapixel, 12 megapixel and 24 megapixel.


Dear WTF,
I bought one of them filters that supposed to make peoples’ clothes disappear. So I went to Times Square, took off all my clothes and started shooting selfies. Cops were on me in nothing flat and I got hauled off to jail. What went wrong?
(signed) Naked in New York

Dear NNY,
Sounds like you were overexposed.


Dear WTF,
What does it mean when photographers talk about “The Decisive Moment?”
(signed) H.C-B., Paris

Dear Henri,
It means, “I’d rather be lucky than smart.”

Not shot with a cell phone. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Dear WTF,
If f/2 is bigger than f/4 and 1/8 is longer than 1/15, why is 200mm called “telly” and 28mm called “wide?”
(signed) Circle of Confusion

Dear Circ,
The rules of photography are like women. If you spend all your time trying to understand them, you’ll never have any fun.


Dear WTF,
I want to buy a present for my husband. He takes pictures like constantly, but he uses a cellphone instead of a camera. Me, I have a Minolta SR-T 101 that I bought at Goodwill. Anyway, he INSISTS that his cell phone takes better pictures than a digital camera. What can I buy him?
(signed) Perplexed in Nokia, PA

Dear Perplexed,


Dear WTF,
I run a small portrait studio in a small town in Wisconsin and I have a small problem. Many of my customers are really ugly. I read somewhere that you have a special technique for handling small situations like this. I hope you can help me.
(signed) Small’s Photo Studio

Dear Mr. Small,
Yes, I have a five step procedure that can be highly effective when photographing subjects who appear have been beaten with the Ugly Stick.

1. Make sure they wear their most attractive clothes.
2. Play soft, beautiful music in the background.
3. Tell them to think beautiful thoughts and relax.
4. Smile and remind them that all of Nature’s creatures are beautiful.
5. Tell them to face the wall.


Dear WTF,
You are my favorite photographer. Your talent is unlimited. I particularly love the images that you post of your family. Exceptional talent must be in your DNA.
(signed) Your Biggest Fan

Dear Mom,
Since the penitentiary allows you to mail only one letter a week, I suggest that you write to Dad and explain why you sold his Craftsman tool set on eBay. You know how much he likes to ratchet.


Dear WTF,
Your crystal ball looks like a snow globe. In fact, I think I saw one just like it at the airport gift shop in Las Vegas. What gives?
(signed) Lucky Lil

Dear Lucky,
Ha ha, I guess you are lucky! What an interesting coincidence. Thank you for pointing it out. Now, put this blindfold on and go play in traffic with a pit viper.

—Jon Sienkiewicz