Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Beauty of Plastic Window Covering

"What you take picture of?!," demanded a short but feisty shopkeeper as she advanced on me from behind a wall of colorful scarves...

Karen and I had gone down to the Charleston Market the day after Christmas.

BAGMAN:  "Why would anyone go shopping the day after Christmas?"
BUTLER:  "Because everything is on sale."

BAGMAN:  "Being on sale don't mean you need it!"

I'll let Bagman and Butler argue the value of post-Christmas shopping by themselves.  For me it's a good outing for both of us because Karen likes the crafts and sales and I like the variety of things to photograph.  

In the summertime, it looks like this...

Shopping during my daughter's visit two years ago.
(IMPORTANT:  Note open air windows on either side)

The day after Christmas, it looked like this:

Not so many people when it is freezing cold!
(IMPORTANT: Although you can hardly see them,
the windows are all covered with thick clear plastic)

"You taking picture of me?!!" demands the shopkeeper as she backs me into a corner while I try desparately to pull up the desplay screen on the Nikon to show her that I wasn't paying attention to her at all.  And wondering why she didn't want her picture taken in the first place.   

Karen had long since stopped watching me after I had zoned out into my usual photographic weirdness.  But I had noticed the distortions the plastic made of the world outside -- it was like a reality version of Photoshop.   

"Why you take picture of me?!" continued the shopkeeper while other shopkeepers began to pay attention.  Finally, I got the picture on the camera's small screen and held them out toward her like a shield.  

"No take pictures of you!"  I yelled back, unconsciously adopting her accent which was either Spanish or Cambodian.  

"See,"  I said.  "Beautiful, no?  Impressionistic?"

She stared at me as if I had lost my mind.  But she seemed to be molified that I had not taken a picture of her.  Finally she smiled and asked, "You want buy scarf for lovely wife?"

I briefly considered taking a close up picture of her wide smile but decided to skip it.


  1. Perhaps market lady is on the run from husband/the IRS/Immigration/...!

    It's a real problem here to take pictures of random people (for a photo _of_ somebody I do ask permission, but the candid and spontaneous quality is wrecked). Or simply pictures that happen to have random people in them that aren't the subject. Even pictures that meerly come close to having random people in them.

    Neat shots across the plastic!

  2. Those are neat shot for sure. I am always afraid, when I take shots inside a store, they will think I am casing the joint. LOL You know for future plans. Happy New Year.

  3. Well, my whole family have expressively forbidden me to post pictures showing them in my blog, even though there are no names, and I highly doubt that any perverted axe-murderers are among my precious few blog readers. Still, I have to respect their wish, and I do not post pictures of anyone but myself and my cat.
    Things are slightly different when there's a crowd; German law states that you do not have to ask permission if there are more than five people on a picture.
    So, next time you want to take a picture of Lady Shopkeeper, simply ask some of her colleagues to join her and tell them you are taking this in accordance to German Law :-)
    Their reactions could be worth a seperate blog entry...

  4. Love your photo distortions.

    I was nearly thrown out of a supermarket recently for taking photos. There were no people in my shots but they seemed to think I was some sort of grocery espionage person. Just another instance of "I just don't get the world any more!"

    When I take photos of people at work I have to get them to sign a permission slip! I know any day now I'm going to be in trouble with the authorities because I take the photo, then ask them to sign the permission slip. (Well, no-one said I had to ask them FIRST!) The only ones who refuse are girls who don't think they look their best. Maybe your lady was having a bad hair day!!

    I really like Librarian's German Law! Will remember that one.

  5. I read once that if the person is not recognizable you don't need permission. I just take photos if I can get away with it and use them when I want.... catch me if you can.... remember a few weeks back when we had the 'temptation' FSO? I got stopped in HRB for trying to take a shot of a huge long row of potato chips.... like it matters if you are taking a photo of the same chips sold in all the stores nationwide. Now if I were taking a photo of security cameras or such I could see their point.
    love the plastic window photos -

  6. I really like those plastic shots! Why you no do more of them? ;-)

  7. I do like the bike picture. Lots.

  8. Why you take picture of anything? Just because........

  9. What a great post- I never thought of the plastic as a way of seeing a painting...I may have to cover ours, and I have to convince hubby its an artistic endeavor! Ha!

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