A Wednesday Whimsy

Parasols in the SunA little background on this photo. It was taken in early October of 2008 in Chiang Mai. As a matter of fact, I think it was the day of the Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Palin. I spoke with Cenk that night for an interview. It was a pretty amazing day. This was one of the first shots. I didn’t post any of the warm-ups to the photo on Flickr, but this shot was cropped slightly. But there is no other treatment to it.

Before I arrived at the parasol factory I’d visited the floor of a jewelry manufacturer, which was a fascinating experience in itself. It rained much of the morning. By noon I was ready to turn around and had told Thanakorn, my driver, that after the last stop we should head back. He disagreed. “Sun come soon. You watch.”

The sun did come. I took several proof shots of the parasol factory but none really caught my fancy. They were all lying their on the ground, in the sun, the smell of lacquer tickled my nose and made shooting more difficult than it should have been. I wonder how the women who make the parasols deal with the poisons they ingest every day, (scroll forward form the linked photo to see how the parasols are made) day in and day out. This photo looked uninspiring from the view finder on the camera and I almost deleted it. But then I uploaded it to the Mac. “Wow!” I muttered to myself that night when I uploaded my days work.

Tracy, my former editor at the San Antonio Express News put it on the front page of the travel section that weekend, with the story of the snakes and elephants after it. I’ve probably gotten more compliments on this photo than just about any other. And it was really an accident, as all good photos often are.

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