Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday Reflections

According to a recent edition of the Wooden Horse Magazine News
~ HORTICULTURE - down 72%
~ GARDENING HOW-TO - down 67%
Ouch! I'd heard rumors about Horticulture and certainly received stacks of renewal notices for Gardening How-To (even though I'm set for several more years at this point!), but those are pretty drastic numbers. I believe this stat reflects newsstand sales only, not subscriptions. Still, glad to know mine are growing and not facing such glum futures. I enjoy both publications and hope they are around for years to come.

Spent yesterday at the Silver Spring FreshFarm market and today at the Dupont Circle one. Pretty decent sales results for me and good market attendance overall. The market managers take a crowd count every half-hour and log them in a book so they can easily see when it is well above average -- which this weekend was -- despite the Hades-like temps. I generally like it hot, but the rivers of sweat running down my back are just not a good look. By the end of yesterday's market, I literally wrung my clothes out.

The photo of a nice heirloom tomato market display reminds me of a photojournalism class assignment I had back in college. It was to use a lot of color with the goal of capturing vivid eye-catching images. Up until then, we had shot strictly black-and-white, so color was a big challenge. To find a great display of assorted colors, I flipped through magazines and was sucked in by those vivid car ads. So thinking I could capture some rows of shiny new cars, I went down to the corridor of dealerships on 355 in Rockville-Gaithersburg. All of the car dealers were empty of customers when I arrived on a weekday afternoon. Most of the salesman (never did see a saleswoman) were standing around looking bored or chatting with each other. And ALL, but one was extremely rude and had no time for a college kid on photo assignment. One even told me to "F^%k Off" before I, camera in hand, even got the request out. The one that did make time? Cadillac. To this day I have not forgotten that they went out of their way to help me capture some decent images -- even offering to re-park cars in color groupings for me. I also learned a big lesson in "customer service" that day, not to mention good public relations with potential members of the local press!

Another lesson I learned: car photography is an art and hard as hell! It takes a lot of special lighting to prevent glares and reflections in the car's finish. And, oh yeah, always wet the pavement down. Trust me, it looks much better that way. You'll never see a car ad in print or on TV that does not look like it was filmed just after a refreshing morning rain.

If I had that assignment to do again today, the local farmer's market would be my first and only stop. Tomatoes are naturally gorgeous on their own without all the fussing and primping (or rude salesman).

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