That can't be true, I thought.
Then: Who would want that? I thought.
Then: I want that. More than anything, I thought, but I was in the middle of a nature preserve looking at a crane
and there was no place to get a camera that converted pictures to text.
Now, twenty-four hours later, I still want it and then I don't and then I do. Mostly I want to see how it works. I am, after all, an amateur photographer (I often wonder what separates amateur photographers like me from artist photographers, and I think the difference is that I don't feel confident enough to simply say I'm a photographer. I put amateur in front of the word as a way of separating myself from the thing -- kind of like when you have to talk about an actress you think is pretty but you don't want Sweetie to get offended, so you'll say something like "that Jennifer Aniston," using that to indicate that you're not really that close.)
Photography isn't really art the way I think of art, although I suppose it is, a little. You still have to compose the photo and decide where to focus and what the coloring should be and whether to crop it but it's not art in the sense that you can learn those things, and you can do them without really having any technical skill. Calling photography art is like calling someone who's good at Guitar Hero a musician.
The "Verbal Camera" is a real thing, only it turns out it's not real the way I imagined it was real -- it is to a real verbal camera as photography is to art: an imitation of the real thing that almost anyone can do. Here's the camera:
There's something indecipherably cool, to me, about the idea of a machine that would instantly take a scene:
And instantly describe it:
An oblong pond somewhat in the shape of an inverted footprint, with water going from midnight blue in one corner to sky blue as it fades off into the distance, the color only changed where the reflections of the trees around the pond, darker in the water than they are in real life, mirror themselves back into the sky they stab upwards into on the shores. Fluffy grass crowds the water, leaning forward and jostling among itself for position while two sentinels of trees stand guard on the left, western side of the shore. Wispy giant seagulls of clouds soar insubstantially on the horizon, themselves partly white and partly the blue of the evening sky...
While there is something ineluctably disappointing to find out such a thing doesn't exist and it's just outsourcing photo captions the way some McDonald's outsource drive-thru speaker orders.
So. In 24 hours, I came to believe a thing existed, and then learned it did not, and I am disappointed in the world being now slightly less wonderful than I thought it was.
JUST GO BACK TO
REMEMBERING HOW AWESOME
THE AVENGERS MOVIE WAS
AND YOU'LL CHEER UP!
(He's right. It worked.)