Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Baby in the house

And before you get all worked up it's not THAT kind of baby!!!! It's a new piece of equipment and the "baby" part will become apparent in a moment, but first we must have a story...

Most of you know Jill and I have been blessed with 5 wonderful children. First, there were three boys. Then, we realized we just had too much free time on our hands and over a three year period adopted two beautiful little girls from China. It's on this second trip to China to get Emmalea that I obtained one of my favorite souveniers: my beloved Chairman Mao windup alarm clock and desk calendar.

Remember that Jill and I both grew up in a culture where Russia and China were the "bad guys" and endured all the propaganda that went along with such a position. Now try to imagine being in that country and having the mental paradigm shift that, by golly, they're pretty much like you and me at the "normal joe" level of things. We had an incredible time on both trips but I was still looking for that special something that would bring back memories of my travels and possible stir up a conversation when guests saw it. Well, I found it in a little shop on Shamian Island in Guangzhou, Guangdong province and I knew I had found my souvenier the moment I set eyes on it.

On close inspection it has all the requisite "good party member" items: red color, utilitarian styling, a practical use as well as the likeness of Chairman Mao leading the masses. Then you look a little closer and notice the second hand is a Chinese fighter jet swooping through the skies. And finally, the piece de restance, when wound up and the seconds tick off one of the masses being led by Chainman Mao is waving their Little Red Book along to the rhythm of the jet swooping above! I can't tell you how old it is but there is a bit of age that came along with the purchase price, something in the neighborhood of $4-5USD. Oh, and it still works AND keeps very good time.

So, now you know the background to this interesting little piece of kitch I have a strange fondness for.

"How in the world are you going to make this come around to having a new baby in the house?"

Oh ye of little faith.

One of the nifty gadgets I recently acquired for my professional endeavours is a small lens that, by way of a flexible lens barrel, allows me to achive a very nice selective focus effect while making for some incredibly blurred and smeared parts of the image. As we photographers are always trying to make our work stand out and grab YOUR attention, I thought that this little guy would be a hoot to experiment with.

Thus, the Lensbaby 3G has now been added to my optical aersenal of image making equipment.

Let the fun begin, and how about we start with my buddy Chairman Mao...

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