Been there, done that, taken the photos, still not got the T-shirt though…
On the occasion of his two – hundredth time of turning out to photograph the prolific parkrunners of Sheffield, be they pert or porky.* This homage is to salute glorious George, our very own semi-domesticated officially fabulous photographer. Most of his appearances have been at Sheffield Hallam parkrun, but he has been known to venture further afield. Chances are if you’ve run in Sheffield, this man has captured you on film. Other photographers are available, but today it’s all about George. Mr Carman, we salute you and your amazing telescopic lens collection.
Er hem – best said out loud, you may need to work on the scanning a bit creatively, and to achieve this, you may wish to recite the below tribute in a private place. Behind a locked bathroom door, or in a shed are two good places from which to start. Good Luck!
If you can stand your ground when all about you
Are running parkrun and ignoring you
If you can point your lens and snap away
But make allowance for Lycra on a Saturday
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting
Or seeing fancy dress keep a straight face
Or being cold stay uncomplaining
And yet frame a shot with consistency and grace
If you can turn out each and every week
If you can do this be it sunshine, snow or rain
If it is the perfect photo that you seek –
So you will tackle any slope and all terrain
If you can meet with Hobbit and with Hare
And treat those two imposters just the same
If you caress your telephoto lens with care
And all around agree you know your game
If you can shoot, and then upload to Facebook
Not one, but three hundred photos at a time
If you can make mere mortals appear airborne
And occasionally, like runners actually sublime,
If you can do this for absolutely years and years
Until two hundred times you have appeared
Then wonder at how loud are all the cheers
And seem amazed that you are just so revered
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or for Christmas carry off a turkey hat
You are photographer extraordinaire that’s you!
With more fans than one could shake a stick at
If you can fill the unforgiving album
With priceless memories of any distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you must be George, Car-man!
*You’d think with all that practice he must be pretty good by now, but some people are never satisfied are they? Overheard one person (who shall be nameless, but they know who they are) protesting ‘How come after all that time he still hasn’t got a flattering photo of me?’ Well, whilst I appreciate the misery and distress of, well, let’s call it charitably ‘the unfortunately unforgiving and candid snap‘, there remains the awful possibility that we may actually look like that. The camera after all never lies, and the mysterious power behind the lens can only do so much by way of veto. Let’s not spoil this lovely occasion for celebration with embittered recriminations, there’s plenty of time for them to carry on in the future. Grudges can endure for generations after all, we don’t need to particularly dwell on them today.
Meantime George, we all heart you, as the saying goes! Thanks for all the memories, bitter-sweet or otherwise!