Picture This


ew pictures are beginning, however slowly, to appear on my walls at home. I have long decorated with my own photos but had not made changes in several years.

But how to make the choices? My photo collection includes thousands of slides and encompasses an 18-month photo binge while living overseas.

Just reviewing all the photos of recent years is akin to reliving many a touristic foray into new places. Yes, I am relishing this project and even the slow-motion nature of it. I am also rehanging old photos among the new.

Because I am a sucker for festivals, dance programs and historical reenactments, I have a huge collection of photos with people in period costumes or traditional dress donned for a special occasion.

I particularly like the shots from Bulgaria's Rose Festival; I had never had such a rich photo op during any festival, although I know there are other colorful events that would please photo enthusiasts among your clients.

I attended countless reenactments while living in England and visited one movie set; this reaped me some colorful choices, too. At two events, there were men whose name for the day was Godwin; one portrayed a Saxon peasant and the other King Harold Godwin. One photo is framed for my walls.

To capture really good people photos in less artificial circumstances takes some luck. It also helps a lot to have willing subjects.

I have a charming shot of two Singaporean girls in print dresses. I was set to photograph one of them when a smaller girl crossed between us. The older child, age 5 or 6, tagged the little one and put an arm around her shoulder. Both looked into the middle distance to their left and posed.

Among my new pictures, I printed one at 11X17 because there are 10 young women in it. I had stopped to photograph four of them, but others joined us out of curiosity and stood stock-still while I clicked away. Another of these fortuitous shots is poignant now. It is also the oldest of the lot.

Years ago, I spent a day walking alone in Kabul, Afghanistan. I spotted a group of turbaned men sitting in front of a carpet shop. As I raised my camera to take a picture, they froze for the shot. That photo is reframed to return to my walls.

Every photo reminds me of a travel day; if it includes people, it may remind me of an encounter and lead me to wonder whatever happened to my photo subjects.

This is especially so in the case of my Kabul photo. I wonder if these men even lived through the awful turmoil their land has seen or if some of them are our enemies now.


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