Magic Mirror

This is our entry in Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #60– Framing the Shot.

This young woman is using the selfie feature on her cell phone as a mirror, to make applying lipstick easier.  The framing of this shot, to include the woman and her image, was accomplished by subtle maneuvering from the seat behind her on a subway car.

 “Magic mirror, on the wall – who is the fairest one of all?”

(— from the 1937 Disney classic,  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

This photo was taken on July 23, 2016. Specs are:

Canon EOS 50D, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, 50 mm.

Best Culture Shock Day Ever

After we visited the cave temples at Badami (this will be a later post), Saran – our driver – suggested that we visit a religious festival. This wasn’t on our itinerary and we weren’t completely sure where the festival was or what it was celebrating, but we went. After we got there, the first five minutes were a little bit of a shock because there were more flies than we had ever seen in one place. We considered asking to leave, but that would have been a mistake. This turned out to be one of the best things we did while in South India.

The festival turned out to be a fair where religious and other items were sold to the pilgrims from little stalls lining the road. We were carrying cameras and people came up to us asking something. We asked Saran what they wanted and he said “I have no idea.  I am from Tamil Nadu and this is Karnataka.  We don’t speak the same language.” Eventually, it became clear that people wanted to take selfies with us. When we realized that, we asked Saran why they would want to do that. He told us that this was a rural area and most of these people had never seen anyone with our skin color. (If the genetics tests are to be believed, we are a mix of Scots-Irish, English, German, and just a touch of Scandinavian). Once we knew what people wanted, we found ourselves posing for at least 50 selfies.

We started asking if they would let us take their pictures, too. (We are a little shy about this since a time in Paris when we took a picture of a building to remember a pet store we wanted to visit later and a woman we had never seen before ran from inside the store, asked why we had taken her picture, and demanded we erase it. We did and made a point to not come back to her store to shop.) Not only were the people at the festival willing to have their pictures taken — they were eager. We made sure to show them their pictures on the back of our cameras after each shot. If we had had any ideal this would occur, we would have brought a portable printer (one of the Fuji ones) so that we could give people copies of their photos.

We have included a few of the photos in this post and will make additional posts with more pictures in the near future. By the end of the day, we had a wonderful time and were able to ignore the flies — sort of.

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Here’s looking at me … Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: June 18, 2017

This is our entry in Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: June 18, 2017.

This photo was taken from the top row of the Great Theater of Epidaurus in Greece. This theatre, with seating for 14,000, dates to 340 BC.  It is unclear just what these tourists are including in their selfies.  Stone steps? The stage far below? Or are they just posing for the photographer, with a backdrop of the upper seats of the theater and the beautiful blue sky?  Or is he just taking a picture of the woman posed to the right?  Or is he taking a picture of us? Sometimes it is important to take a break from ancient sites and just indulge in people-watching.


(With apologies to fans of Casablanca …)

This photo was taken on September 25, 2016. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/400 sec, 18 mm


Mona and Me: Tourists Turn their Backs to Fine Art

We had a stopover in Paris in late September and spent an afternoon in the Louvre. Every visit has a mandatory stop in the salon where  La Gioconda (Mona Lisa to her friends) is displayed. We are used to finding hundreds of tourists gazing on the painting through their camera’s view finders, hoping to get a shot of the top of the painting above the dozens of other tourists ahead of them with their cameras. This year, we found a new phenomenon. A significant number of tourists spend their time facing away from the Mona Lisa so they can include her in selfies. Great art inspires!

Mona and Me