Wednesday, August 02, 2006

He learned, a little too late, that inter-personal skills are a critical part of living in a functional, semi-civilised human society. For many years, he had thought that he could float through the madness of life solely on the vastness of his library of technical skills. His beliefs were reinforced by the fact that he did manage to do exactly that at various institutes of education.

The fact that he had unknowingly developed symptoms of APD (avoidant personality disorder) over the past decade of his life only added to his recently discovered troubles.

Collectively, his behaviour, decision making scheme, surroundings and perception of the world formed a feedback loop, of which the result appears to be exponential in nature.


Anyway, enough about my story; lets move on to something more recent.

A long time ago, I had arranged to do shoot some portraits for the Head Chef’s family. Unfortunately, weather on that day was a bitch, and I got invited over for dinner instead. This matter was then forgotten as the seasons gradually chilled from autumn to winter.

Circumstances changed last week, and we arranged to do it yesterday. Despite the drizzles early in the afternoon, we went ahead with the plan.

Since we are doing digital, I just went berserk with the shutter button. Just like I always do anyway. By the end of the day, we had about 185 photographs. I removed the worst technically flawed (bad lighting, out of focus...) and printed the remaining 143 on 7 sheets of A4. Since they are properly numbered, I figure I’ll just give him the lot and ask him which ones he wants printed.

Thank the gods for batch processing on Photoshop.

It’s one of my first serious attempts at portraits, and I learned a great deal. The flash makes a huge difference. Natural light is nice, but a tiny burst will reflect off the subjects’ eyes, giving the eyes some texture.

I had a weird customer at the restaurant this evening. An elderly couple came in, the man looks East Asian; the lady, Caucasian. He spoke English with a strong twang of Australian; she sounded native.

He was in a light grey suit, the colour of battleships, with the front unbuttoned. Below that was a shirt of insignificant colour. The unbuttoned suit’s opening revealed a silk necktie, beige in colour with faint diagonal stripes of muted gold.

When speaking short sentences, he drew out the individual words, stretching them into long thin strands and then projecting them forth in a nasal voice.

I sent them their menus. He said, "good…."

Two interesting things: One, he did not say thank you. Two, he sounded like a Hollywood villain, pleased to hear that the second-in-command had successfully kidnapped the hero's pet alligator and even managed to rape the said alligator without suffering grievous emotional trauma. Grey Suit also sounded like Squealer from the 1990 film Animal Farm.

Tomorrow will be another interesting day. I’ll be meeting Diana in the evening for some photography, probably involving the sunset, infrastructure, cityscapes, waterscapes and rush hour traffic. If the sun plunges faster than expected, we might even have night scenes in the bag.

Will post photographs tomorrow.

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