Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Con

The Con

September 5, 2011. The Con. As my wife was looking at some Vera Bradley handbags in the Partridge Tree Gift Shop in Winter Park, Florida, I was looking for my camera.

Outside, an upscale Rollins College student wearing jeans and flip flops smoked a cigarette at a sidewalk cafe. A slightly crazy man with a beard danced a drunken tango in the middle of the brick road in front of the Fiat in the background, and then he pulled up a chair and asked the student to light his cigar.

The slightly crazy man started his best Al Pacino imitation, putting all his soul and experience into selling some idea or story unheard through the glass. His sideburned, venture capitalist audience of one listened like he was about to cut a check.

As styrofoam heads and prematurely displayed Halloween skeletons stared at the strange couple, I fumbled in vain for my camera, finding only my mobile phone instead.

The real lesson here, if there is one, is that composition, story, and serendipity are more important for decent photography than a good lens or a big sensor.

HTC EVO 4G (PC36100). 4.92 mm. ISO 110. LR 2.

P.S. - Something about watching this interchange for 15 minutes reminded me of Sting's inspiration for the album title "Nothing Like the Sun."

"One night I was walking on Highgate Hill when a drunk accosted me and kept asking, 'How beautiful is the moon' I replied, 'My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun...' He said that was a good answer, and lurched off. Shakespeare works quite well with drunks, I've found."

Having found myself more than a few times in my travels just a few inches from the whiskey smelling end of an angry drunk, I can tell you that Mr. Sting was right. Responding in Shakespeare quotes makes them think that you're even crazier than they are.

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