The selfie stick is an essential tool in the arsenal of any solo traveler. It can help to cut out the crowds of other visitors, capture the full extent of a large tourist attraction, and avoid those unflattering close-ups from bad angles. But it is a tool that must be used wisely.

Although the rules and techniques of selfie stick photography are pretty simple - "point and shoot" is about as complicated as it gets - some tourists still manage to have a hard time with it. Whether they have pimped up their selfie sticks in an (unsuccessful) attempt to blend in or missed the point completely, these 12 tourists have an embarrassing array of selfie stick fails. And in a cruel twist of fate, their selfie sticks have captured the evidence of their embarrassment forever.

12 This Man Has Mastered The Art Of Selfie Stick Subtlety

This man has gone to extreme lengths to convince people that he's snapping his selfies au-natural. Unfortunately for him, he's not fooling anyone, even though he cleverly used the same extended selfie stick for both arms. At least he'll always be able to get his good side. He just has to humiliate himself in the process.

11 The Selfie Stick For Lonely People

There's no denying that being surrounded by loved-up couples on vacation can be a drag for any single person around them. But pretending to be loved up with an imaginary partner, who in reality is just a plastic arm holding your camera, is even worse. Not to mention how odd it must look to carry around with you.

10 The "My Selfie Stick Is Bigger Than Yours" Photo

The selfie stick was born out of a desire for convenience. It's the perfect tool to capture that quick photo when there's no one else around. So it's hard to see why anyone thought carrying around a huge selfie stick to support your huge laptop would be a good idea, but clearly some tourists fell for it.

9 That Really Is Not The Purpose

If only this tourist had looked at the group of women behind her and seen how to properly use a selfie stick, maybe she wouldn't have been such a walking hazard. After all, waving a two-foot metal pole around a crowded tourist destination is never a good idea.

8 When There's Just No One Around To Take A Photo For You

Selfie sticks are supposed to be a back-up for real human beings - when you're by yourself and want a good photo, then you can whip out a selfie stick and work your magic. But when you're literally in a flood of people, using a selfie stick seems a little, well, annoying.

7 The Man's Face Says It All

Everyone knows that waiting in airports to start your vacation can be both exciting and painstakingly boring. With long delays and little to do, sometimes you have to find creative ways to entertain yourself. But judging by this man's expression, these selfie stick fanatics are more embarrassing than entertaining.

6 Risking Your Life For A View Of Traffic And An Ugly Bridge

Who knows what was going through this tourist's mind when he decided to scale an unattractive metal bridge during rush hour to snap this blurry photo? Whatever his reasons, the decision seems to have backfired, landing him an embarrassing slot on the local news station for the world to see.

Related: 25 Perfectly-Timed Selfies That Show The Best Side Of Travel (And The Worst)

5 Sometimes, One Selfie Stick Just Isn't Enough

Getting that perfect angle is fine art. Everyone has their good sides and bad sides, so sometimes the faithful selfie stick is a picky photographer's best friend. It seems like this man may have gone just a bit too far to get the perfect shot, using two selfie sticks to get the full 360-degree experience.

Related: 20 Obnoxious Travelers Who Took Inappropriate Selfies

4 The Final Moments Before It All Went Wrong

You don't have to be a genius to know that this spells "BAD IDEA." You know exactly what's going to happen when this paraglider tries to take his phone out of his selfie stick thousands of feet in the air. And sure enough, a few seconds later, it's bye-bye forever to his phone.

3 The Clue Is In The Name

Not only has this couple misunderstood the point of a selfie stick by asking a friend to take the photo, but they've also failed to let go of the stick, meaning it will feature forever in their photo as a reminder of what not to do.

Related: 20 Times Pilots Took Inappropriate Selfies On Flights

2  The Unintentionally Candid Selfie

This man has done what countless tourists have tried and failed to master: he has taken a genuinely candid selfie that perfectly captures his vacation moment. It's just too bad that moment is ascending a boring escalator in front of some overexposed buildings. Better luck next time.

1  Try Talking Your Way Out Of This One

It's not just phones that can lead to distracted driving - selfie sticks are an equally guilty culprit. And the worst part is, they capture your guilt in incriminating clarity, like this tourist crushing a canoe into unusable oblivion. Definitely not the look he was going for.

 Next: 20 Of The Most Dangerous Travel Selfies Ever Captured On Camera