Thursday, June 20, 2002

Ok, you'd think that this would be a simple task wouldn't passport needs to be renewed. I have the forms, I know where to send the forms, I even have the outrageous fee I need to pay...what else do I need....passport photos! Easy...Walgreens, JC Penney, name it, they take them...don't they? Oh no, they take US passport photos. I need UK passport photos. They're the same size, they tell, they're not. UK passport photos are a TOTALLY different size to those you lot use! They need to be 45 x 35 mm....(US are something like 2" x 2"). Oh, I never learned metric...what's that in inches? You have a ruler in front of you, it's not's the funny numbers along the other side!!!!! It's a helluva lot easier than working out what 1.77" looks like (that's the imperial equivalent for information). OK, well we do these little ones if you take a sheet of photos - would you like those? What size are they....oooh, they're 35 mm by .....50mm....close. They'll take 4 weeks to produce. Errr, you want me to wait 4 weeks for photos that still won't be the right size? I think not! Well I can give you these and you can cut them up yourself? Do I have any choice? Better give me some spares and don't charge me for them...she didn't. So here I sit with a ruler and scissors trying to make them the right size......

In the UK, we have these little photos booths everywhere...railway stations, post offices, shopping centres. You go in, put in about $4.50 in coins and you get 4 photos, the perfect size in a matter of moments. Here, I traipse round the portrait studios, have to pay a lot more money for TWO photos and then I have to cut them up myself......ssssssss......

And, as for Canadian immigration photos...not a hope in hell....apart from the fact they're a different size again, the paper needs to be matte (not glossy...Oh you won't get matte anywhere, we use Polaroid and that paper's glossy. Yes, I know that but I NEED matte.) and I need 5 (yes, 5...why? who knows!)...all identical from the same exposure......A very nice person in another studio told me that their cameras aren't metered correctly for fact, US immigration photos never come out properly unless he stands back an extra inch!!!!! My head is now buzzing with the stupidity of it all. But I gather that I don't need to show an ear for Canada though I do for the USA.....this has to be a joke, doesn't it?????

There's a lot to said for globalization....perhaps we can extend it to photos cos I'm getting very hot and bothered!!!!!!


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