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Friday, May 14, 2004


A Little Bit of Validation Goes a Long Way

Remember my whining last week about my photo exibit at Barnes & Noble being a big flop because I hadn't gotten even one nibble at buying any of my prints?

No more whining from me - my wife told me tonight that she took a phone call from a nice lady, Cindy A, who asked to buy two prints! I wouldn't say I've been in a funk over the lack of any orders, but I wasn't taking it with a stiff upper lip, either. Anyway, having at least this one order now is a nice little jolt of validation. Can you spell "co-dependent?"

I'm happy about the two specific photos she wanted, too. The first one is one of my favorites - Gingko Leaves in Fountain. Ginko Leaves in Fountain I don't mean to appear immodest, but I think it's an elegant image with good composition and beautiful colors. If I had seen it posted somewhere by someone else, I would have said, "Damn, I wish I had shot that one!

The fountain is part of a small Vietnam War memorial on the grounds of the Old County Courthouse in Towson, MD. I found the fountain, almost hidden away behind shrubs, by following the sound of falling water. There were lots of gingko leaves laying around, plus a few already in the fountain. I shot a few different arrangements, and the shot that this was derived from was the best of the lot. The orignal had more leaves, and I cloned all but these three out.

Just to prove that you don't need expensive equipment to take really nice photos, I used the only digital camera I had at the time, a Canon A40 2MP point-and-shoot model. The LCD screen still allowed me to compose accurately, and fortunately, the tiny photo sensor and circuitry in the A40 are top-notch; it prints nicely at 8x10. By the way, I saw the current equivalent model, the A60, was selling at my local Best Buy last weekend for $130.

Now, I'm especially happy about the other photo Cindy asked to buy. This one is another favorite of mine, the way the runt of a litter can be the most endearing.

By way of explanation, I have to tell you that this composition shows part of the window of our favorite Chinese restaurant, Dragon House. It's in Owings Mills, MD, only a few miles from my Mom's, and we eat there almost every time we visit her. On top of that, I really like Chinese food. If I could get away with it, I'd have Chinese for at least lunch and dinner every day.
Dragon House
So this photo in a way represents two of my favorite things - Chinese food and photography. It's also a bit silly, and whenever I see it, I laugh, and I hope the humor comes across to you as well.

I really like neon, too, both as a photo subject and just to look at. So I had been seeing this rather nice neon sign for years, but really didn't see it in a photographic sense until one Sunday night recently. On that visit to Dragon House, I noticed how the sign was actually behind the venetian blinds and how the neon light spread a bit onto the surfaces of the blinds. I made a mental note to come camera-equipped the next time, and sure enough, I did bring my new Canon Digital Rebel on the subsequent visit.

The Dragon House management were very cooperative, not only welcoming me to take a picture of the sign, but also allowing me to play with the blinds to my heart's content.

A few weeks later, I brought a framed copy of this photo to give to the gang at Dragon House, which they happily accepted and immediately hung in the entrance. I was thrilled, but upon leaving, Mom said, "...the least they could have done is given us a free meal!"

Anyway, to my first real buyer from the show, Cindy, I say "thanks!" And now I have to call my therapist and find the schedule for our local Co-Dependents' Anonymous meeting...

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