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Surprises

One of the things about photography that never fails to fascinate me are it’s surprises. Going through a new set of freshly taken photos is like waking up on Christmas morning for me — there are things you find that you didn’t expect.

On a summer vacation trip years ago to central Kansas, we were visiting the small farming town of Goessel, where my father was born and grew up. We stopped into the model one-room schoolhouse, very much like the one he went to as a boy. It was like stepping back in time — small wooden desks, chalkboard at the front, pedal-organ for singing, and no air-conditioning (it was a Kansas-hot summer!)

I decided this was a great opportunity to try a “stitch” photo with our Powershot point-and-shoot, where several frames are taken in sequence, side-by-side, and later fitted together in post-processing to make one long image. I took several frames around the room and finally ended with this one, not very aware of the composition I was making at the time. Upon seeing it later at home, I found it to be one of my favorite images of the trip. The quality of the light, the arrangement of the space, the little girl looking through the book at the desk at that moment. And this from a point-and-shoot camera!

The surprise I got was that sometimes technology is not as important as being at the right place at the right time — and “feeling” the moment.

October 16, 2009 - 10:00 am Stacey Viera - Wow! This is a wonderful candid moment. You're right; it's just like stepping back in time. Good luck with the launch of your site!

October 16, 2009 - 8:51 pm admin - Thanks Stacey. Talk about 'stepping back in time,' and surprises ... I found out from my dad that my grandfather wrote samples of the German alphabet on the blackboard in this photo. You can see it in the back corner behind the girl. It's been up there, untouched—for about 10 years! At the bottom he signed "Written by Richard Schmidt."

October 17, 2009 - 11:31 am ginny zablan - omg. goosebumps, smiles, and tears.... just the opening slideshow has made me weak in the knees and made me want to bow to you. these are such powerful images and the stories behind them really touched my heart. how beautiful and extraordinary are these?! wow. and, to know that you have a wonderful woman by your side makes your work even more amazing. bravo. i love your photography. =)))

October 17, 2009 - 4:57 pm susan ogden - This is just FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations on the launch of your website, and may you have amazing success!! I LOVE this shot...made all the more amazing by your grandfathers writing on the blackboard!!

October 17, 2009 - 5:19 pm admin - Thanks Ginny and Susan for your very kind words. I'm glad you enjoy the site.

April 23, 2010 - 6:47 am Amy - This is just FANTASTIC!!! Congratulations on the launch of your website, and may you have amazing success!! I LOVE this shot...made all the more amazing by your grandfathers writing on the blackboard!!

May 3, 2010 - 1:38 pm admin - Thanks Amy.

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