Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Once again, Chinese New Year is upon us. A few years ago I spent a day in New York City's Chinatown making pictures of the celebrations, the first day and the last day. I was lucky to make a contact who was able to get me inside the bars (marchers at the front of the parade use wooden bars to push back the crowds that would otherwise overwhelm the lion dancers). One of the guys in the parade was a telephone installer who had participated in the installation of a PBX network for one of the major stock picture companies (not the one I'm contracted to) and as soon as I mentioned I was shooting for stock, that was it, I was in! You really can't get better luck than that.

So I spent the better part of the day walking backwards and making lots and lots of pictures of the parade. My assistant kept feeding me loaded cameras with different lenses and flash units with fresh batteries so I could shoot really fast and I wouldn't have to do anything but concentrate on making pictures. The photography went very well, I got some great stuff.

I also nearly got my foot blown off! Doug was so busy changing film and lenses and keeping everything in the bag in the bag, that he never warned me (I guess because he didn't notice) that I was standing on a mat of freshly lit firecrackers. Not only was there a lot of noise under foot, but there was this burning sensation as well. By the time I realized what was happening it was all over... my left foot was both burning and soaking wet. The firecrackers had blown a huge hole in the sole of my left boot (I was wearing Timberlands with very thick soles) and the street was wet from a recent snowfall.

I guess it's just part of the cost of doing business.


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