Unit 11: Selfies Intermediate Level 3 Daily English 791 – Taking Photographs

Unit 11: Selfies Intermediate Level 3 Daily English 791 – Taking Photographs

Source: English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

Daily English 791 – Taking Photographs

Dialogue/Story

Slow Speed begins at: 1:03

Explanation begins at: 2:47

Normal Speed begins at: 13:49

ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 791: Taking Photographs.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 791. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Our website is eslpod.com. Go there, download a Learning Guide, become a member, improve your English even faster.

This episode is about taking photographs – taking pictures with a camera. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Ryan: Stop mugging for the camera and stand still!

Katrina: I’ve been standing still for 10 minutes, while you’ve been setting up the shot. I have to do something. This is boring!

Ryan: I almost have the settings right. Okay, let’s try a shot. Say “cheese.”

Katrina: Cheese.

Ryan: Oh, you look washed out in that shot and it’s blurry. I think the flash came on when I didn’t want it to. You have red-eye, too. I’ll have to adjust the settings again.

Katrina: Hurry up!

Ryan: Okay, I think I’ve got it now. Get back into your pose. Lift your head a little to the side and face the sun…

Katrina: Take the picture!

Ryan: I just need to focus. There! Say “cheese” again.

Katrina: Cheese.

Ryan: Um, it’s still not perfect. Let me put the camera on a tripod. Try to stay still while I do that.

Katrina: I thought you wanted this shot to look like a candid.

Ryan: I do, but how am I supposed to make it look like a perfect candid if you keep moving out of your pose?

Category: Entertainment + Sports|Travel

[end of dialogue]

Ryan begins our dialogue by saying to Katrina, “Stop mugging for the camera and stand still!” “To mug (mug) for the camera” means to make funny faces or to try to be funny looking in a photograph when someone’s taking your picture. Sometimes it can mean just to try to get into the picture; you see someone taking photographs and you walk over so that they will take a photograph of you, and so you maybe change your face or your body in such a way that they will pay attention to you. Ryan says, “Stop mugging for the camera and stand still!” “Still” (still) means not moving, someone who is without motion, who’s not moving, who just is there. “Still” has a number other meanings, however, in English; some of those are in the Learning Guide.

Katrina says, “I’ve been standing still for 10 minutes, while you’ve been setting up the shot.” “To set (something) up,” or “to set up (something),” is a phrasal verb meaning to get ready, to prepare. The “shot” (shot) here means the photograph, the one photograph you are going to take with your camera. “Shot” also has other meanings in English, none of which are found in this week’s Learning Guide! Katrina says, “I have to do something. This is boring!” This is uninteresting; she’s just standing there waiting for Ryan to take the picture.

Ryan says, “I almost have the settings right.” A “setting” is an adjustment on a piece of equipment. It could be, in this case, the speed that the camera will use; it could be the light; it could be a lot of different things. Cameras, at least expensive cameras, have many different settings – many different things you can change on the camera so it’s a better picture. Ryan says, “I almost have the settings right,” meaning correct, the way I want them. He says, “Okay, let’s try a shot (let’s take a picture). Say ‘cheese.’” In English, if you want someone to smile that’s the expression you use when you’re taking a photograph – only when you’re taking a photograph. You would say, “Okay, everyone say ‘cheese’,” because when you say “cheese,” the mouth has to open and you can see the person’s teeth and it looks like they’re smiling even if they’re not.

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ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

Katrina says, “Cheese.” Ryan says, “Oh, you look washed out in that shot.” When you say someone looks “washed (washed) out” in a photograph, you mean they don’t seem to have very much color; perhaps there’s too much light and you can’t really see the person very well. Ryan says it’s also blurry. “Blurry” (blurry) is when a photograph is not in focus. That is, it’s not sharp; it looks like someone was moving the camera right when the picture was being taken, and so the lines aren’t clear. They’re not sharp; they’re not in focus.

Ryan says, “I think the flash came on when I didn’t want it to.” A “flash” (flash) is the part of the camera that shows light on the person as you are taking the picture. So a bright light comes on right when you take the picture so that when you take the picture you can see what you are taking the photograph of. But of course, if you don’t need the light and you have the flash on that may make the person look a little washed out.

Ryan also says that Katrina has red-eye. “Red-eye” means just what it sounds like. The eyes in the photograph look red, and this is sometimes caused when people are too close to the flash of the camera, and it’s a problem because it makes the person look like there’s something wrong with them. Ryan says, “I’ll have to adjust the settings again.” “To adjust” (adjust) means to change, to change something to improve it: “I need adjust the settings.”

Katrina says, “Hurry up!” Go faster, she’s saying. Ryan says, “Okay, I think I’ve got it now (meaning I think it’s ready). Get back into your pose.” A “pose” (pose) is when you move your body into a certain position and you hold it there for a photograph or a painting. So, Ryan tells Katrina to get back into her pose. “Lift your head a little,” he says, “to the side and face the sun.” “Lift” means to raise, to move the head into a higher position from a lower one. “Face” means to look toward, to be in a position where your face is toward a certain thing, in this case the sun. You may say to someone – your son or daughter who isn’t listening to you – you may say, “Face me and listen to what I’m telling you.” “Face me” means turn around so that your face is looking at mine.

Katrina says, “Take the picture!” Ryan says, “I just need to focus.” “To focus” means to adjust the camera, usually the lens of the camera – the part of the camera that has glass in it that the picture is taken through, and you change the glass – you change the lens so that the lines are sharp so that the picture isn’t blurry. You can see the person; they look like what they’re supposed to look like.

Ryan says he needs to focus. “There!” he says. Notice the use of the word “there,” it just means he’s ready; what he did is now correct. Then he says to Katrina, “Say ‘cheese’ again,” and Katrina says, “Cheese.” But Ryan says, “It’s

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ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

still not perfect. Let me put the camera on a tripod.” A “tripod” (tripod) is something that has three legs, and if you’ve work with a camera you know that you can put the camera on this special stand and that will keep the camera from moving. That stand – that thing you put it on – has three legs so that it’s stable – it doesn’t move, it keeps still – and that’s called a tripod. “Tri,” of course, means three.

So Ryan’s going to put the camera on tripod, and he tells Katrina, “Try to stay still while I do that.” Katrina says, “I thought you wanted this shot to look like a candid.” A “candid” (candid) means a candid photograph, and “candid” means informal. It’s when you’re not posing; you’re not putting your body in a certain position or you’re not looking at the camera and smiling just because someone is taking your picture. You’re sort of doing what you normally do, and while you do that someone takes a picture of you. There are other meanings of “candid.” Those can be found in, of course, the Learning Guide.

Ryan says he does want the shot to look like a candid, but he says, “how am I supposed to make it look like a perfect candid if you keep moving out of your pose?” Well, this doesn’t make any sense, because a candid doesn’t have a pose. So Ryan obviously doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “candid,” and he should definitely take a look at our Learning Guide!

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Ryan: Stop mugging for the camera and stand still!

Katrina: I’ve been standing still for 10 minutes, while you’ve been setting up the shot. I have to do something. This is boring!

Ryan: I almost have the settings right. Okay, let’s try a shot. Say “cheese.”

Katrina: Cheese.

Ryan: Oh, you look washed out in that shot and it’s blurry. I think the flash came on when I didn’t want it to. You have red-eye, too. I’ll have to adjust the settings again.

Katrina: Hurry up!

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These materials are copyrighted by the Center for Educational Development (2012). Posting of these materials on another website or distributing them in any way is prohibited.

English as a Second Language Podcast www.eslpod.com

ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

Ryan: Okay, I think I’ve got it now. Get back into your pose. Lift your head a little to the side and face the sun…

Katrina: Take the picture!

Ryan: I just need to focus. There! Say “cheese” again.

Katrina: Cheese.

Ryan: Um, it’s still not perfect. Let me put the camera on a tripod. Try to stay still while I do that.

Katrina: I thought you wanted the shot to look like a candid.

Ryan: I do, but how am I supposed to make it look like a perfect candid if you keep moving out of your pose?

[end of dialogue]

She never mugs for the camera, but she does write wonderful scripts. Thank you, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan, copyright 2012 by the Center for Educational Development.

GLOSSARY

to mug for the camera – to make funny facial expressions for the camera in order to produce humorous photographs
* This will be the official class photo. Tell the students to stop mugging for the camera.

still – without moving; without motion
* When the bird is standing still, you can see the unusual colors on its head.

shot – a single photograph; one photo
* Jelissa was so excited that she was able to get a shot of her favorite movie star coming out of the restaurant.

setting – an adjustment on a piece of equipment; the speed, height, or temperature on a machine can be adjusted
* We can lower our energy costs if we lower the temperature setting on our water heater.

to say “cheese” – a command given to someone posing for a picture telling them to smile; to smile for a photo
* Everyone said “cheese” when Dad said he was ready to take the picture.

washed out – without color; pale; faded, often from too much sunlight or from having been washed too many times
* This movie poster looks washed out because it was displayed in the window for months.

blurry – not sharp; not in focus; something that cannot be seen clearly
* I think I need new glasses because words on the page look blurry to me.

flash – a device on a camera which produces a brief light so that photos can be taken in low light settings
* You won’t need to use the flash when taking photos outdoors on a sunny day.

red-eye – the unwanted small, red spots that appear to be in the eyes of people in photographs that result when people are too close to the flash (brief light) of a camera
* Paul used a computer program to remove red-eye from two photos he took of his children.

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ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

to adjust – to make small changes to improve the appearance or the result of something; to change a setting on something, such as a piece of equipment
* Balil adjusted the curtains on the windows so that sunlight wouldn’t shine on his bed in the early mornings.

to pose – to move one’s body into a position for a photograph, painting, or drawing
* The model posed in front of the new car for the car ad.

to lift – to raise; to move something up from a lower position
* Georgina lost her earring under the sofa, but she couldn’t lift the sofa by herself to find it.

to face – to look toward; to position one’s face in the direction of something
* The teacher told all of the students to face the front of the classroom during the science lesson.

to focus – to make adjustments to a camera to produce a clear image; to make adjustments to a camera so that a photo is sharp and not blurry
* In this photo, I focused on the background instead of the people standing in front.

there – used to indicate that something is ready or correct, after a period of making small changes to achieve what one wanted
* The colors on the new TV don’t look right, but I think it just needs a small adjustment. There! That looks better.

tripod – a stand with three legs that attaches to the bottom of a camera so that it can stand on its own, without being held in one’s hands
* Everyone wanted to be in the picture, so we used a tripod to take the group photo.

candid – a photograph taken informally, usually without the person in the photograph knowing that it is being taken
* The best photos from the wedding were the candids of the guests dancing and having fun.

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ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS

  1. Why does Katrina tell Ryan to “Hurry up”?
a) Ryan is taking too much time to take her photo. b) Katrina wants to mug for the camera.
c) Katrina is late for an appointment.
  2. Which of these is not photography equipment? a) Flash.
b) Tripod
c) Red-eye.

______________

WHAT ELSE DOES IT MEAN?

still

The phrase “still,” in this podcast, means not moving or not being in motion: “Without any wind, the water on the lake is very still.” The word “still” can also describe a situation or setting that is quiet and calm: “In the still of the night, you can hear the animals in the forest.” “Still” can also be used to mean up to and including the present time: “Jamie has always been interested in airplanes. Is he still planning to become a pilot when he grows up?” Finally, “still” can mean nevertheless or all the same: “That horror movie was really scary. Still, it wasn’t as scary as the one we saw last week.” Or, “I don’t like gardening at all. Still, it’s my responsibility to take care of the backyard.”

candid

In this podcast, a “candid” is a photograph taken informally, usually without the person in the photograph knowing that it is being taken: “Instead of taking a lot of formal photos, Aaron asked the photographer to take a lot of candids of his friends and family.” The word “candid” is also used to mean truthful and straightforward, not trying to hide the truth: “If I’m being candid, the reason you didn’t get the job is because you don’t have enough experience yet.” Or, “The members of this family need to have a candid discussion about whether we should stay in this town or move to another one.”

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ESL Podcast 791 – Taking Photographs

CULTURE NOTE

Invention of the Modern Instant Camera

Today, most Americans use “digital cameras,” cameras that allow the user to save pictures to his or her computer instead of printing them out. This was not always the case, however. For part of America’s history, the most popular type of camera was the “instant camera.” This camera was made “popular” (well-liked by many people) by a scientist named Edwin Land in 1948, and allowed its user to take pictures that were developed immediately, within seconds of being taken. The person using the camera pressed a button, the camera “captured” (took) the photo, and then the photo was immediately printed and pulled out of a “slot” or door in the camera.

Although Land is often given the credit for inventing the first instant camera, this type of camera was actually invented much earlier. In the 1920s, Samuel Shlafrock invented an instant camera, but the only way to get the photos from his camera was to be in a large “darkroom,” a room in which photos are developed using special “chemicals” (substances that when put together produce a reaction). Land took Shlafrock’s idea and used it to make the instant camera more “compact” (smaller and easier to handle). His instant camera allowed the user to take a photo using special film that had been “inserted” (put) into the camera, and then pull the paper version of the photo out of a door on the back of the camera. The “photographer” (person who takes photos) then peeled off a layer of chemical paper, and the photo was finished.

Over time, “Polaroid,” a company that makes and sells film and cameras, improved Land’s “design” (model). As the design got better and the cameras got easier to use, Polaroid became more and more successful. However, over the past few years, digital cameras have begun to replace instant cameras, and Polaroid has had to shut down several of its factories. Now they are making much fewer instant cameras, but it is still possible that the instant camera trend will come back one day.

______________

Comprehension Questions Correct Answers: 1 – a; 2 – c

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