A few weeks ago, when I was in Kona, there was a sort of “volcanic event.” A rare lava “plume” had formed. What’s a lava plume? Well, it looks a bit like this.
Since we had this wonderful rare lava plume and we were a bunch of photographers, we decided to go up the mountain (actually go *over* the mountain might be more like it) and hit the volcano-hoping, of course, the volcano would not, ahem, hit back.
Picture it. A pack of about seven women photographers, tripods in tow, little “head lamps” and flashlights in place, all ready to hike up to the volcano and wave, “Hello!” Yes, we were so *there* to photograph the volcano. Conveniently, the new lava plume had decided to erupt mere steps from the visitor’s center. This was fantastic because it provided us with a bench and a stone wall, so that we could perch ourselves up at night and shoot the volcano. We could also put our feet up and rest a bit, as we were happily shooting away. Oh, life was good.
Well, life *was* good, until we met the Frenchmen.
As we’re setting up shop, we’re all sort of cackling around, being a bunch of ladies interested in all kinds of photography some of us were doing abstracts, light painting, infrared, you name it. Poking our cameras, playing with flashlights, doing annoying things that art photographers sometimes do. Yes, that was us.
The Frenchmen? Yeah, not so much. They were there to shoot the volcano in their macho/manly sort of a way. They had expensive gear and were “real” photographers (or so they told us.) One of them even went as far as telling us (in a proper French accent, mind you) that he was, “a PROFESSIONALE!” and that he, “knew where his tripod was at all times!” and would not “bump the leg” against anything. Right. You are professional. Got it. You have $10,000 worth of camera gear and “oh my! What a big penis you have!” There? Does that about cover it? Yeah, I think I got it. I get where you are coming from. You’re sort of like a robotic penis with an expensive lens around its neck and no heart or soul in sight. Check. Got it.
Needless to say, we did not get along. This really was a battle of the sexes in more ways than one.
We, the women (that would be those who did not have the large penises-heck we didn’t even have penises at all, mind you) were artists, not technicians. We were interested in making great art, items of lasting beauty, enjoying our surroundings while celebrating nature and enjoying ourselves. The men? Oh, they just wanted to showoff their, ahem, large camera gear (yeah, that’s it) and boast a lot. Some of them even offered to help us. That was nice of them. Yes, very nice, especially nice for somebody burdened with a large penis, don’t you think? I mean, their penis is probably so large, I wonder how they could even stop lugging it around long enough to actually stop and help out another human being? It’s a wonder the entire world, the volcano right there and then, didn’t collapse under the weight of those giant penises. Makes the mind boggle that, doesn’t it really? Oh, I’m sure those lenses were long and those penises really, really large. It’s a wonder the volcano didn’t just cave in, what from all that extra weight being thrown around right there on the surface, conveniently located steps from the visitor’s center.
After we pissed off the French tourists and got our photos, we headed back towards the cars. We loaded up our gear and started walking back towards the parking lot. That’s when we saw it. There were these sort of glowing phone booths, all bright and just calling us. We all stopped to photograph the phone booths, ignoring for a time the volcano. Hey, what can I say? We’re artists. We’re interesting people. You never can tell what is going to capture our fascination next, can you? Sure, the volcano was nice, it was great, in fact, but the phone booths were equally high in the “cool factor” for us. I shot both of them and I’ll probably use images from both locations-in different ways, yes, but I’ll keep some of each because that’s just the kind of “girly girl” photographer I am, I suppose. I think. I mean, it’s hard for me to “think” at all right, because I’m so lacking in the “giant penis” department?
And, in case you’re wondering, yes, I did get a shot of the volcano too. Now, my shot of the volcano is not brought to you by a “PROFESSIONALE!” Frenchman, and no penises were harmed in the making of this shot, and I know I’m just an amateur but, if you look kind of hard, you might be able to spot the volcano in this shot. Can you maybe see it from where you sit? You might have to squint a little bit but, if you try really hard, it might just be there. In a blurry out-of-focus feminine sort of a way, mind you, but, yes, Virginia, there really is a volcano in this picture. One that’s conveniently located near the visitor’s center, next to some spiffy glowing phone booths too, mind you.
As we were driving back from the volcano, I told one of the other women that I thought the name “Pele and the Frenchman” might make a really good name for a rock band. Don’t you think it would? Of course, it would have to be a rock band with really big penises, I mean, um, guitars, yeah, that’s it. And lots of hair gel because, after all, they would be *professional* musicians, with a name like Pele and the Frenchman, wouldn’t they?
Ok, you can stop me now, I’ve officially gone too far with this. But, before I go, I should remind you of one little inconvenient “fact” I had forgotten until recently. Pele, spirit of the volcano, was in fact a woman. Yes, she was the *goddess* of the volcano. So that big, bad volcano you see here? Yup, that’s right it’s female. That’s a lot of lava coming from something without a penis, don’t you think?
So, remember that the next time you fight the photographic battle of the sexes. If Pele can do it, why too can’t you?
Until next time…