Saturday, April 29

OK, It's Worrisome, huh?

And these scholars are protesting fascism! Sigh. What the hell's happening on campus? Look, I'm a registered Democrat, at least through the next primary. After that? Grumble. Sorry, don't mean to be political, but once upon a time colleges seemed to be the place where beer and debate made the word "sophomoric" fun. Do fires, beaten women professors, speakers run off, and "debaters" like this gal seem kind of self indulgent. 

Question... by calling her a "gal" have I put my peace and quiet at risk of frazzling? Can you still say "gal"?  Or am I now unspeakably evil? If gal's gone, wuddabout "guy"? You get the feeling that there are flash fads frenzying flash mobs packed with nasty neurotic nut jobs? OOPS... NNNs are probably poised to give anyone a spontaneous dose of psychopathic proctology - which, may be the field of study that's replaced Western Civ? Is this a snarky transcendent moment or what? 

This gal and her pack of NNNs, waft the stink of 1930s Germany or Cultural Revolution China. Maybe both? 

It's worrisome, huh? 

Disclaimer: The basic image here isn't mine. It popped up on some news site without attribution. The processing is mine. I'm sort of glad I wasn't standing in front of this new-age beauty even with a very long lens. If anyone knows the photographer's name, please let me know - I'd like to celebrate her/his gonads. 

Sunday, March 12

Spain Day 3 • Bits of Cordoba • 10/24/16

Of course you can click on any image to see it large...

I've been apologizing to myself for getting sick. OK, that's dumb, but both Rita and I were felled during this trip - she got bronchitis, and since I'm more manly, well I grew it into pneumonia... Cough, Wheez... So this was the worst job of photographing I've done in decades. Sorry... sorry... sorry. Grumble.

In the 10th century, Cordoba was among the world's greatest cities.

The old city's snuggled behind it's massive ancient curtain wall protecting the colossal Mezquita. This Great Mosque embodied the power of the Islam on the Iberian Peninsula. Starting in the late 700s it was constructed by the Moors for over 150 years with lavish additions in the 10th century by Hakam II. The city was the sultan's citadel with a towering minaret high above all. A minaret which was replaced six hundred years later with this Torre del Alminar bell tower when Catholics reclaimed the city. 

The enormous Mezquita, now the Cathedral of Cordoba, is itself wrapped in a thick wall. Can't help looking at it's secluded rear door without imagining how it allowed dignitaries furtive entrance and exit. 

Spain's fabulous wealth allowed first the Muslims then the Catholics cities to compete with increasingly grand mosques, churches and then cathedrals. For example, here in the heart of the Mezquita is the very busy Catholic cathedral's main altar. Overdone? Hmmmm... I'm thinking that if this were music, the best descriptive word could be, um... cacophony. Each succeeding Cardinal must have sought some undecorated niche to stuff still more into this reconsecrated basilica.

This place reminds me most of a freeway at rush hour... clogged with architect and artist traffic. Maybe it was my fever, but the silently elegant remaining fixtures of the caliphs spoke to me more than the frenetic snarl of the cathedral's decoration. 

Wednesday, March 8

Valencia • 10/27/16 • 5:31p • Street Artist

Came across other North African street merchants last time I was in Italy. See the look on the guy's face? Before I could take a second shot, he'd swiveled to face into that doorway. The move seemed casual, graceful as a dancer. But he was hidden.

The work was nicely executed but probably computer stuff that was gone over with brushes. See how similar many of the images are? A man and his wares have probably stood against that ancient wall for centuries. Tough way to make a living from the swirl of passers-by. 

Here's the art business where rubber meets road. 

Tuesday, February 21

Meaning? 10/26/16 • Carthusian Tryptic.

Our brains really don't come empty. Millions of evolutionary years have wired in some instincts - which are sort of neuro-rules. Apparently ancient ancestors who were best able to make sense of a given moment, were more likely to live long enough to pass along an instinctual track in their babies' minds.I'm guessing that it fueled our ability to spot the tiger in the bushes, or the villain unsheathing his knife.

Anyway, what happens when there's really no order in what appears to be a simple moment? Granada's Baroque Carthusian monastery's like that. Its pieces won't fit together without some sort of key. But where is it? How to explain this happy couple, the dead clown and relatively ancient holes poked into walls - and an eye-fooling altar setting that's actually a painting? In fact, while the doorway steps there on the right are 'real', that alcove to the right of the painted altar piece was also, I think, painted to wickedly deceive the mind. 

So is there order among the couple and the tryptic behind them? Can your mind assemble the pattern, the order, the moment's reason and therefore its meaning? Or is this really a surrealist's romp? One thing's certain... Blown up to 7' on the horizontal edge - Here's an image that will ask everyone its questions each and every time they enter the room it dominates. 

Friday, February 17

Seville's 12th Century Gothic Cathedral

After he died a pauper, the monarchy resurrected Columbus as a hero. Cities competed... and still do... over claims to be the explorer's resting place. While the Spanish claimed his body rested here in Seville's magnificent cathedral no one had the courage to test the remains until a few years ago. DNA examination concluded that there were some milligrams of Columbus's corpse in here. Just which of his parts isn't made clear. Where's the rest? Maybe in Central America - who knows? 

My image belongs on a museum wall, y'think? 

Saturday, January 14

Spain 2016: 10/23: Page 1: Madrid & Toledo

For a larger view... Click on any image, OK?

España Day 1: Saturday 10/22/16 • Tour de España con La Cámara de Lancaster de Comercio (How's my Spanish lingo?)  - Produced by the TravelTime Agency - and led by Lori Heathcote & Courtney Bailey. Enjoy… And leave your wonderings to mix with mine... After all, art without wonder is merely craft, right?

"He who starts a journey of a thousand miles, best have plane tickets." - anon.

España Day 2: Sunday 10/23/16 • Madrid & Toledo

Okay, here come a bunch of my images (not photos… images - which are more impressions than photographs… feelings really - a sense of wondering space). 

A couple of thoughts here… For those of you who weren’t along, there were about 35 of us, mostly from Lititz!? Maybe because it’s America’s coolest town? Dunno, but I’ve plucked these things from my impressions and they’re as factual as, well - novels, poems, plays, or even melodies are when compared to reality… hence: ImageFictionBut then again, everything that’s photographically based is at least processed through a photographer’s point of view, as well as cropping, lens choice, camera processor, and spontaneous eye for detail… I just dig farther into conceptual stuff. 

Have you noticed that when you peer into memory compartments that things look more or less vivid, more or less to scale, and more or less meaningful? So our memory snippets skip their traces, like puppies who’ve lost their collars. ENOUGH RAMBLING… 

It rained… Poured off and on for the first third of out trip. And sadly both Rita and I incubated some sort of lung viruses which grew into bronchitis for her and pneumonia for me…. Infections that took us almost three weeks apré trip to finally slough off. So we actually had maybe 60 hours between deluge and plague to enjoy the trip. Worse yet  from day 2 on I got evicted from the  front seat so the interminable hours of bussing left me with few opportunities to spot oncoming scenes and to capture them.  Meaning most of the Spanish countryside went too blurry into my camera to produce usable material. Oh well… Enough whining… 

Here’s some of what I got…. starting with Day Two (10/23) between the raindrops first in Madrid, then Toledo. More days will follow here on Image Fiction... I'd of course, appreciate your feelings either as comments here or to

Oh, BTW, the sun rises MUCH later in Spain than in Lancaster County so virtually everything before 9am seems glimpsed through dim first light, mostly before actual dawn. Add the storm clouds and... Here’s my forever impression of Madrid. 

The Prado is Spain’s national art museum. It opens at 10 AM on Sundays. So we stopped to visit this memorial to Spain’s greatest writer. Perhaps it is a lovely park. Not sure since the weather gave the city a kind of feeling of Metropolis. One expects the Bat Signal to flash from the roof of that 1940s skyscraper… Home of Bruce Wayne Enterprises maybe? Dunno, but maybe Meg Lince… the real photographer with our party... grabbed a happier shot here from her perch on the ground before Don Quixote and Sancho? I’m looking forward to seeing Meg's work, maybe on her website

Anyway, our bus was first to the Prado at around 9:40 where this smoking fat guy kept us in the storm until exactly 10. Odd, since ther's a large, warm and comfortable waiting area just beyond those doors to the left which eventually accommodated scores of people. Well, maybe not odd since bureaucrats world-wide treasure their power, right? The rain in Spain was was a steady pain. Ooops, I’m whining again…. Sorry… :-)

And inside the Prado - what's there to see? Well as far as cameras are concerned… This capture below is all one can photograph. Looks a lot like the Rape of the Sabines in Florence’s square in Italy. At least I thought so but I haven’t asked Mangesh yet. It was good to have a doctor along though, especially a guy with his sense of humor. Rita and I needed both his skill and bedside manner later in the week. Yep, this is the sole Prado image. I really should travel with a tiny spy camera... Sigh....  😏

Sad about the rain, Madrid’s Spain’s capitol city and consequently - even under relentless showers - boasts stunning architecture from the nation’s many epochs of greatness. 

Ooops… this is a wrong-dated capture of the old walled city of Toledo about 90 minute from Madrid where we spent Sunday afternoon. We climbed  into the city on a series of escalators rising through  tunnels that are a triumph of sophisticated Spanish engineering design. As you know, Spain is Europe’s fourth largest economy (following Germany, England, and France), with cityscapes that routinely match or exceed downtowns in Manhattan, Rome, Paris, London, and Berlin. 

I’ve got scores of still untouched Toledo pictures like this one up above that I’ll work on during the winter… Well after we return from Florida of course :-)

Coming Soon Day 3… Cordoba & Seville crammed full with  Moor and Catholic cultural droppings.

Friday, August 26

Medium Tech

Musser Park, July 4th 2016 • The Red Rose Honor Guard presents as the Malta Concert Band plays the anthem.
Technology is how we... humans... extend ourselves. Take media for example. I'm sitting in a media room looking at 60 inch flat screen immersed in surround sound while typing into this blog as it appears on my 27" iMac. Both the cable system powering the TV and the mega-speed internet hookup that I'm feeding are portals. The let me peer into places scattered around the globe and then push back at them. Last night I Face-Timed some friends in Texas. Soon I'll interact with my home desktop from Spain.

Symphonic orchestras and classical musicians are experiencing huge difficulties attracting younger audiences who find that sitting in a concert hall only satisfies one of their senses. While the video games they left at home allowed them to interact with at least three... sight, hearing, and touch. No matter how expert the musicians, those hours in symphony halls are to them so flat in comparison. Even movies are flattened by their inability to permit interaction or to allow something other than a linear experience.

Linear? Well sure. Try to jump ahead in a movie theater to "the good parts" Look how the music "album" is dying as iTunes buyers or Pandora listener are  freed from purchasing collections of an artist's music, and instead can graze through vast cafeterias choosing where they want to wallow.

And then there were parades. Remember them? They were multi-media sure, but linear. People increasingly reject the tyranny of parade organizers who mix the mediocre or shamefully commercial into the stream... Once again forcing watchers to accept their judgements. Even the large holiday celebrations are finding it hard to compete against competitors for time. Competitors who have cut markets into tinier and tinier niches. Suburban 12 year old females with an Asian heritage can build their own community networks of people like themselves who will allow them multi-entry non-linear interactive, surround sound experiences that they can access spontaneously 24/7.

Mass cultural battlements will not survive those assaults. Instead they will increasingly appeal only to the nostalgia of aging groups. We talk about the death of distance, when it's the death of traditional glue that's even more existentially transformative.

High tech has destroyed a sense of long term planning. And medium tech's the fuel only of nostalgia. It's what good aging people put into museums and holiday celebrations, while they still exist.

Tuesday, July 26

Tell Me A Story • #5 - When to say, "Done!"

Runner • Lancaster Race Against Racism • 4/16

There're novels behind every face. 

Every artist understands the challenge of when to say, "There. That's finished! Now I can turn to another work." While we all know that a work is never finished. Nor is any one interpretation or conceptualization adequate. But the composer enters a last note, the poet a last word, and the novelist a last feeling. So do I. You? Do you know that anything ends sufficiently to write "Finis"! after a work? 

Anywayzzzzz.... You'll recall I wrestled with this man's image in late May. Then I had run into tech problems, which never did resolve themselves. But his story continued to haunt me... And then it occurred to me to think that he was best "penciled in". Uh-huh, that his story was difficult to capture and is best rendered in zillions of strokes. 

In this "Tell Me A Story" series, I'm interested in your thoughts/feelings re. this man's thoughts/feelings. Faces trigger us to wonder, then tell ourselves their story, right? So? If you found this as the illustration above a serious magazine's short story... What would it be about? Hmmmmm? 

Thursday, July 7

4th of July: An Allegory?

Pre-dawn, grey morning: Musser Park dresses for it 4th of July celebration
(Click on any image to make it pop) 

Art without wonder is merely craft, right? Last Monday morning I pointed my iPhone camera around  Lancaster's Musser park which is a few steps from our home. For maybe a half century the park's hosted an "Old Fashioned" celebration of US independence with children's games, cake walks, a band on the portico, and mounds of food. Thousands of people - the city's diversity - come but they space their arrival so that there's rarely a  moment that seems crowded.

The park is ringed by pre-bellum homes and sits at the rear of Lancaster's Museum of Art which occupies the 19th century Grubb Mansion whose rear portico acts as shell for concert bands, speeches, prizes... Like that. 

This year the sky that usually blares down a baking humid heat - was grey. Rain threatened but stayed away 'till after 2 so the temps were comfortable. 

Very early as dawn broke behind clouds before the setup began
Volunteers from the sponsoring Musser Park Civic Association arrived to get chicken going...
Chicken-charcoaled smoke fogged the neighborhood. A  scent of summer.

The ice cream truck and vendors set up along the north side...

Turkey Hill creamery exports its products from Lancaster
As teams set up games, tents... Like that...

Frank Byrne's the chairman there in the center - doing what a chair man does, right?
Frank Byrne chairs the Musser Park Civic Association, the neighborhood group which produces the Old Fashioned 4th. They act as junior partners to the City of Lancaster. It's the city that maintains the park, and the association which raises funding for capital improvements. I'd drop the Association's URL here, but right now it's kind of under repair.

4th of July kicks off the summer political season in Pennsylvania and for decades each major party's brought its tent and candidates to circulate. It's a good thing. All politics are ultimately local and at this level neighbor-candidates know one another and share common goals if not tactics. There's no rancor even if opinions don't mesh. 

City and county Dems are on the Left, GOP on the right. Appropriate right?
BTW, look at the twin tents up there. Notice something missing? Uh-huh. No presidential posters! Nope, their omission's not a statement - rather, well, seems that there just aren't any -yet. With the GOP convention two weeks off and the Democrats even farther away, the national committees haven't shipped yard signs, bumper stickers and the jetsam of candidate marketing. It's  sort of refreshing that we're not yet sucked into that Big Time candidate selling. Nope, 4th of July's for retail political marketing, one-on-one. Neighbors talking. Almost reminds you of a gentler time... Which may have never been,  huh?

I'm still working on my feelings through images  beyond these I've posted today - trying to find some wonder 'midst the craft of picture making. Which brings me back to that tiny essay way up on top of this blog post...

There's a veneer of celebration that coats an Independence Day party. There are clichés that we preserve in amber of romantic old-timey memories. But the symbols also tell stories of the moment and coming moments. Perhaps the grey dawn coating those fluttering flags is metaphoric as well as factual? Perhaps it's an augur? An omen? We live in the crack between back then and tomorrow. And perhaps philosopher Barthes' punctum's  worth considering? 

The sun'll come up tomorrow... and upon some future 4th of July celebration in Musser Park. But will it host the same culture on the other side of today's crack? Will it be recognizable to the people who lived back then? Or to those living here in this moment? Does that flat light cranking down the reds, whites, and blues aflutter on the bars of their fence - foretell? Forbode? or foreshadow?  Or is it just a snapshot in punky light? 

Does that image trigger thoughts? Feelings? Tell me the story you sense in the dawn's early light that fell here in this tiny spot on America's 240th birthday.

Monday, June 20

Summer Along James River

Summer afternoon along the James River at Palmetto Bluffs, SC

It was wet heat in Beaufort County for our 2016 June stay on Hilton Head Island. You know, the sort of heat that sops clothes like dish rags. It was so chronic you felt a bit chilly when the temp dropped below 95. But then, Hilton Head's in deep Dixie and built atop a mostly drained swamp along the Atlantic's Low Country. This was the heart of the Confederacy where, in my great-grandparents' time the most belligerent of slavery's proponents once lived. In 1850, according to a historic marker in the county seat, this region had 1,111 white people and 8,361 slaves occupying 151 plantations. Cotton was king. 

The James river mixes into the ocean about 5 miles to the southeast from where I found this image so it's tidal at this point. With Charleston to its north and Savannah to the south, Beaufort county's inches above sea level... And well down into reptile and mosquito level. Thinking about this land's people some 150 years ago means imagining a time before air-conditioning. Which is the high tech that finally disrupted how this summer wet-heat went unchallenged. 

For two weeks we largely lived like space travelers on Mars... Locked by choking hot days inside of cooled-air bubbles. I tried bike riding only twice, but even at sunrise - the humidity was so thick that downhill felt like uphill. 

It's not that Dixie's summer days are lazy. No, self defense vacationers tour the place within cars that whisk them between cool bubbles. Down there autos aren't designed so much aerodynamically as they are thermodynamically. Once, decades ago, a southerner criticized me for living where heating costs were so high in winter. He implied that Yankees were energy wasteful. And yet I'm thinking that the electric costs of summer A/C inside of those old high ceiling southern buildings must compete with my gas heat, no? Isn't electric always the most expensive way to do HVAC over the course of a year? 

Ahhhhh well. Southern summer scenes are gorgeously pretty and seem to be accompanied by a deep low voice quietly signing, "Ole man river... Dat ole man river..." And as I scurried back to my car's A/C I wondered just how much fuel, there in the 100 degree plus sun, it took a man to tote that barge and lift that bail... 

Geek Stuff: Took the reference shots with a Canon EF-S 10-22mm (f3.5-4.5) screwed to my 7D. A lot of processing later I'd finally prepared the images for AlienSkin's SnapArt to create this languid late afternoon oil painting into capture the searing sun's glare. As you can see, I try not to use a lens shade and seek opportunities to let the light flare across glass and my wide angle's got a lot of glass surface to attract sunlight. 

Sunday, May 29


PhotoShop's Selection

Tech is irritating. Yeah, it's disrupting industries and businesses like a flame thrower, incinerating jobs, careers, and dreams... yadda, yadda... Forget the macro havoc, K? This is a more focused irritant. This picture. 

I had no intention of making this image. Instead I wanted to make an image something like this...

Ted's Selection

Oh, I'd have changed the dynamic range to tease the bearded man's image out from the background.But essentially, this was I wanted to start. And Photoshop simply won't let me! "Huh?" you ask. "Ted, you've studied and worked in Photoshop for eighteen years. You've mastered its every nuance. So wudda' hell's the problem here?"

I don't know. I've poured over the THICK manuals. Tried endless permutations. I've managed to create that second image up above in the application. But when I save it... only the first image appears!!??? And it is awful. Worse, the manuals are mute on this problem. So far it's absorbed two days of tweaking and shaking. I've thought about bashing it with a hammer... Finally I did a screen shot of the pre-saved image and it's that screen shot of the adjusted image before flattening that's posted second here. 

Frankly it needs a lot more work to bring out the details around his eyes, hair and beard. I'd like to have more 3D modeling. But why bother? I cannot save the worked version, much less export a jpg for export. 

Arthur C. Clarke's written, "A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from witchcraft." Uh, huh. There's a gremlin in my machine that will not let me do what I have done routinely until this image. &*^&%$!! 

Anybody know why adjustment layers won't compress or flatten without disappearing? Has it something to do with the B&W gamut? Should I work in a CMYK space instead of rgb or srgb? Where do I buy an aerosol can of gremlin remover? AAARGH!

Friday, May 27

Tell Me A Story • 4: Madonna

Race Against Racism runner(a)  • 4/30/17 • Lancaster, PA
Mysterious eyes. 

When color's surgically cut away, is there more or less identity... More or less story... More or fewer clues? I wonder: Do blind people understand others at a deeper or more shallow level? Is radio in anyway superior to video in communicating the depth of personalities? 

There's a resistance to digital post-processing, dismissing it as inauthentic. The word manipulation is the common verb that describes digital post work. I prefer augmentation, even revelation since manipulation sounds what? Dreary? Calculating? Callow? Shallow? Never mind that painters, for example, do nothing but manipulate... augment... reveal... the realities they imagine. Ditto poets, novelists, and composers. Can you imagine someone charging a symphonic composer of manipulation? Playwrights routinely manipulate the emotions of audiences, don't they? Is that a bad thing?

Yet somehow describing digital post processing as manipulation is dismissive, even insulting. But that's not my real point here. Those most likely to critique the idea of augmentative post processing argue that purity lies only in the image which comes out of the camera, right? Now I've written about pre-processing (lens choice, lighting constructs, filters, makeup, wardrobe, scenery, POV... and like that), and even what I guess you could call immediate processing involving the manipulation of panning, framing, and DOF. All of that manipulates what comes out of the camera. And that doesn't even begin to touch the things camera engineers have built in to manipulate sharpness, color and dynamic range, Etc. 

But none the less, purists who reject digital post processing as in-authentic have no memory of the wet darkroom where printmakers first selected among radically different developer chemistries/timings/heat, then chose between diffuser versus condenser enlargers, contrast/texture/pigment of papers/substrate, developer dynamics, hold-backs, burnings-in, solarizations, and on and on to create a one-of-a-kind final print, even in monotone. The opportunities to create one-off darkroom prints in color increased exponentially. The fact is that there never was a final print that was not processed heavily by at least the photographic artists and perhaps different darkroom technicians, and retouchers (both on the negatives and prints). 

Is all of this sounding defensive? Okay.... look at this:

Race Against Racism runner (b)  • 4/30/17 • Lancaster, PA
As I roamed the park next to my home here in Lancaster on the morning of this year's Race Against Racism run - I consciously looked for a series of faces to speak to you dramatically in monochrome.I could have set my Canon 7D to bleach away all color and make captures only in monochrome. Why do that? Why not allow all of the information possible to reveal narrative arcs? 

So first I processed this image above as a square (you'll note that this and the next images will all be square-cropped, since my Hasselblad days, that format's been a powerful challenge to me). And I processed it for the most haunting dynamic range and sculpting, adding a touch of glow to offset the overcast lighting of that morning. Then finally worked in monochrome to release the image at the start of this essay. 

But the geek-stuff all involves focusing powerful tools to carve out a narrative arc that allows the lady to tell her story. So, what is it? Once again, Tell Me A Story - THE story which you read from faces. I'm convinced that every street portrait needs to trigger at least  a short story - and perhaps a poem, novel, or epic. Hell, maybe even a sonata, if you won't accuse the composer of manipulating the notes - or the mysterious eyes :-)

Monday, May 23

Tell Me A Story • 3: Cryptic Moments

Philosophy Unbounded?

Lens glass
Slices life

Ambiguity: To the artist it's a window, to the craftsman it's a wall.

I try to make my pictures about something, y'know? I'm searching for images that resonate some thought and feeling. Anne Leibowitz once wrote, "A photographer hangs frames around pieces of life. In every direction I look, I'm framing." Works of art are about something, but where to find the answer to their questions? In the artist's mind? I don't think so. In fact when the creator supplies an unambiguous answer to that question we modify his title... We call him a commercial artist, right?  Which is a lot more craft than art.

And what about interior designers? Are they artists? Is decorative art - art? When we buy an image to coordinate with the couch, have we purchased art? Or does the art exist independent of, the couch? Should  a professional artist care? Uh-oh, when someone adds, professional to their title, that means they expect to augment their income from their work, right? So they are driven by some market's interest.

Which brings us back to the creator supplying an answer to a market's question. Of course there are situations where a market finds an artist's work which was created without an expectation to specifically answering someone else's question. But once again I've got this niggling question:
What is the difference between creativity and adaptability? Does the weight of survival inexorably shape the meaning of a professional artist's work toward answering some market's questions?

Art, they say in art school:Art lacks constraints - it is philosophy unbounded. And yet the product of art schools are artists who want to survive through their work. Which is one hell of a constraint, huh? No wonder we call 'em starving artists.

Oh, the picture up there is another in this year's Race Against Racism 2016. I'm enchanted by the beauty of this woman. Her face is a portraitist's dream and this slice of life is about... about... Well okay... What's the answer?

Geek Stuff: Another hand-held capture through my Canon 7D's EFS 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. It's razor sharp... perfect for slicing life into cryptic moments, huh? 

Monday, May 16

Tell Me A Story • 2: Suspending Disbelief

Runner in the April 30th, 2016 YWCA Race Against Racism

We live across the street from Lancaster's YWCA. Since the turn of the century the Y's held a Saturday April morning Race Against Racism attracting thousands of runners. Nice of them to flood the street out front and the park we adjoin with a sea of puzzling faces. And As I wrote in the last post... "A face ignites its own explanation: Which is a dramatic narrative." So wandering through the crowds with my long lens (Canon 70-300mm) lets me pluck out wondering, y'know? 

Take this young guy. Someone said he's a 16 or 17 year old high school student. Hmmmm.... He looks like a movie star, no? It's hard to pry out tales from young faces, particularly when they are way attractive. Still, although it looks like the young man's won a lot in the gene lottery, I'm guessing that those shoulders and arms took a bunch of discipline to pump, right? And his caramel skin and curly hair seem latin? About thirty feet from this guy sat a collection of food vendors where he could have grabbed candy, fries, pretzels, and pastries. Instead he chose that apple. 

Uh-huh, there's discipline there and add the 5 kilometer run he just finished the guy's got an athlete's instinct. Do we instinctively trust handsome or pretty faces? It's like attractive people have a unique muscle that works emotionally. But it also defends them like an armor... protects them from probing. Maybe that's why lead actors are so good-looking: so that we'll believe whatever character they'll pull on for a performance? 

Does beauty make it easier for an audience to suspend disbelief? Hmmmm.... 

Grabbed the shot hand-held with my Canon 7D at 160mm (perfect length for portraits, huh?), 1/1000 sec and a low noise 400 ISO. The morning was slightly overcast and still early enough for sweet light.