Woman taking photos for her blog

Have you taken a good photo lately? It seems like humans love to snap photos of their pets. This must be true by all the adorable dog and cat pictures posted on social media. As my husband points out, we have had very few photos taken of the two of us together in the past few years. But our horses? We must have hundreds of snapshots. Well, animals are always photogenic, never have “bad hair days” and rarely seem to age. Humans? Not quite so lucky. 

Have you ever entered a photo contest? If you are looking for inspiration, read on. An octopus stole a camera and the top prize at an international competition. And this was not just any photo. Now that selfies are an accepted part of photography (and our culture) these days, one clever octopus got in on the act. Yes, photographers from 80 countries submitted thousands of images in the annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, but it was the curious octopus who won it all. 

Photographer Gaetano Gargiulo was shooting pictures in a tide pool in Australia, when the huge octopus came out of his den and started manipulating the camera with his tentacles, taking several selfies. And just like that, a winner was born. And perhaps photo competitions will never be the same.

I did have a horse named Baxter, who loved the camera. You would think that a horse wouldn’t care about picture taking. But then you might not have known Baxter. Hold a camera or cellphone up and he would suddenly stop, throw his head back and show a toothy simper. Yes, horses can smile, showing teeth the size of piano keys. 

Baxter would strike a pose till he heard the “click” of the shutter and then go back to whatever he was doing, which usually involved eating. Many of my friends didn’t believe it until I posted his goofy and happy face on Facebook. So enthralled was I with his funny grin that I even used his image to be plastered on my Christmas cards. Nothing says “Peace on Earth and Good Will to All” like a big smiling horse.

I do appreciate the efforts of wildlife snapping their own photos. A bald eagle in Alaska grabbed a GoPro camera, probably thinking it was a salmon, and took it to the skies for a joyride. The eagle swooped, snatched the device and flew up to a mile high, taking panoramic photos and even a few selfies. What greater thrill is there than seeing the majestic face of an eagle sailing through the air with blue sky above and rivers below. The best part of all was the images of the eagle carefully examining the GoPro when he landed back on the ground, giving a sort of half smirk as he pensively backed away and flew off. The eagle left behind a treasure trove of video for one lucky camper. 

Dear readers, keep your cameras and cellphones handy. The world is filled with moments of sheer beauty, hilarity and nature. And smile. You might be on candid camera.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.