Close, they say, only counts in horseshoes.
by Charlie Leck
I got very close to a great photo the other day; and then she turned away.
She was standing outside the front door of the health and fitness club I go to, locking her bike into a rack. As I walked by her, she pulled off her biking helmet. Politely, she said hello. Her extremely curly hair, freed from the tight protector, was all asunder and looked fabulous. Her cheeks had gotten bright red from the chilly ride she’d just concluded and her eyes were sparkling and slightly moist. When she smiled at me, her entire face lit up and her bright white teeth glistened.
I knew at once that this would make a great, wonderful photograph.
Quite bluntly, I told her how beautiful she was and how I loved her hair. In reaction, she blushed and started to untangle and press down the wild curls that were going in every possible direction.
“No,” I said with surprising alarm. “Don’t change it! It’s perfect. My camera is in the car and I’m always on the lookout for a great photo. Could I please take your picture?”
“Are you a professional?”
“No, no! Just a hobbyist, but I’m pretty good at what I do. Please let me take a photograph of you.”
She agreed with a bright blush.
I rushed the few feet to my car and grabbed my Nikon D300 out of the trunk and, as I hurried back to where she stood, I pumped the ISO up a couple of notches to make up for the dull, grayness of the day.
By the time I returned, she had turned away and showed me only the back of her head.
“No, no,” I said, “I want to see that beautiful smile and your bright cheeks.”
“Oh, not my face,” she replied. “One never knows what will happen to a photograph these days.”
All the enthusiasm rushed out of me. I told her I understood. In disappointment, I snapped a few shots of the back of her head – no red cheeks, no sparkling eyes, no glistening white teeth and no spectacular smile.
Dang! “Close, but no cigar!”
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