Sunday, January 06, 2008

Faith #1 or #2

"Faith #1"
Sandy's Place
West Odessa, Texas

"Faith #2"
Sandy's Place
West Odessa, Texas

While out driving and taking pictures of homes yesterday, I spied this pomegranate tree. I pulled over and just one second before hanging my head and camera out the window to take a picture of it, I spied also the homeowners outside on the porch. Whew. Now that would have been embarrassing. And rude.

Instead, I shout a friendly howdy and say, "I know this is a weird request, but may I please take a picture of your pomegranate tree?"

In no time at all I was in the yard, chatting it up with Sandy, her grown son, and tickling under the chin of her red-headed, blue-eyed one year old grandson. I guess, like John said here in a comment, I am indeed a "people person." I could probably even carry on a delightful little conversation with a fence post.

One of the benefits about being willing to talk to strangers is that you frequently have your faith in humanity restored, or at least bolstered. Isn't there a quote, I'm thinking by Will Rogers, that goes "Some of the nicest people I've ever met have been people," or something like that.

And while I'll not go so far as to say this restored my faith in the feline community, even her three cats were as friendly to me as she was. She has a "kitler" that she named Ava, as in Ava Braun. She said she chose Ava because just couldn't bring herself to go around saying, "Here Hitler, Hitler, Hitler."

The light disappeared quickly and Sandy told me I could come back any time, that she had a windmill in the back that I could take a picture of, too. She said that I should especially come back in the fall when the pomegranates are ripe and could have as many as I want. Because of that last offer I almost used this picture for the Have Camera Will Shoot installment for "joy."

Today's suggestion, "Faith," was provided by a relatively new blogger friend John, of typos.daylight.fate. Now my word-smithing skills are going to be put to the test, because John's work is unlike any I've seen. So really, it's best if you simply go see it for yourself. I don't know all that much about what else he does in his life (I think he also does other "traditional" art), but on his blog he shares his digital works and his typos. Not only is his work amazing, but his fortitude is as well. He blogged to an audience of one, himself, for almost a year. Then, one day last month, he ventured out and posted the first (of now many) astute comments on a blog. The rest is history. You will one day say you were part of the blogging community that followed his work when he was an unknown.

Photo info --
The light was terrible! The sun was going down fast. And I always get a little nervous taking pictures with an audience. Those are my excuses as to why I didn't get the quality of pictures that I dreamed of (like Fawzan's Forgotten Harvest). The first picture is my standard post-production -- downsize, sharpen, multiply image at 50%, but then changed my mind and went to just 30%. The close up was even less satisfactory, but was the best of the close up of the bunch. Same post-production techniques, then lassoed the pom, inverted the selection, and put even more of a blur on the background with gaussian blur. I wonder if Sandy's hospitality would be tested to see me again soon, like today?


Neda said...

Have you ever tasted pomegrenate seeds sprinkled on the baba ganouj while you were in Lebanon?! A perfect zesty complement to the aubergine's sweet garlicky taste.

I share your fondness for John's astu.te com.ments..He is a delight to read, just like you :)

I don't know what to think of the cat though ...

nelda said...

I bought a pomegranate once - just to see what it tasted like. It was very good, but an awful lot of spitting out seeds, I think our neighbors had a small pomegranate tree when I was young and I think I remember sucking on those seeds then. Interesting fruit and supposedly very good for you. Good pictures, and a good neighbor. I think she was pleased that you stopped to take a picture - so you really must go back.

Oh yeah, if we're choosing, I go for #1!

Andi said...

I choose #1. I like the dots of color against the dark tree.

Kris Cahill said...

I love your story about how you met the people who own this tree. How fun it must be to go out and shoot pictures, and have adventures while you do. More stories!

I have never heard of kitlers before, oh dear! :)

I have never seen a pomegranate still on a tree before! Beautiful, will you go back in the fall and shoot again?

Sue O'Kieffe said...

ive never seen pomegranates on a tree before. didn't know they even grew in the states, but i guess they have to grow somewhere. i wonder what the flowers look like? i hope you go back in the spring!
it sounds like you are such a good schmoozer. how could they possibly refuse your visiting?
i played with apply image. come see! and thank you.
~sue o'kieffe

Bev said...

I certainly remember John's brilliant first comments on you blog, and they made one very curious to find out just who was behind them.

When I first saw the 'Faith' title and the pomegrante, I though you were going to write about religious faith, because the pomegrante has quite biblical connotations to me, and I think it was a blessed Hebrew fruit, or something. But nice to see it was your faith in human nature that was restored as a result of this lovely interaction with the family. It takes a bit of chutzpah (more Hebrew, actually Yiddish I think lol) to do what you did, and great it was rewarded this way. I do like the pics, as these sorts of fruits we only see in greenhouses.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

I love number one, the fruit manage to warm the whole picture, it has a lovely wholesome feel.
Great to hear your lovely experiences that go with your photos. Isn't it true that there's so much more the photography than photos?

Joy Logan said...

They look like little chinese lanterns to me adorable!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Debi,

I am going for #1. I figure you need faith when all the leaves are off a tree.

What a wonderful story! You sure are a people person!!

~ Diane Clancy

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

Oooh, Debi please -

No, I come here to be astounded. Number 1 - you need to blow it up to "see it" and I am only blowing up the quality (size) that is linked here.

It is remarkable - I think you take great advantage of the Odessa winter - almost barren yet still hauntingly alive. Here, further up north, the only vegetation visualy alive are conifers - if they were not cut down for Christmas.

The struggle and raw beauty that your portray is stunning. You make your region a visual paradise. Much better than I ever did in San Francisco when I photographed a lot.

Number one has "Andrew Wyeth" quality - I do not mean to pidgeon hole it as much as measure it against an American quality that is pure and austere and art. You document a universal struggle - for those alive, wounded but soon to flourish.

Your work is patriotic but not foolishly.

Take care. Your are too talented and nice.

Sweet Irene said...

It's a good thing that you are not an inhibited person, or we would not be getting such nice photographs all the time.

I pick number 1.

D.C. Confidential said...

Number 1. Definitely #1. I love the color and composition in this photo! In fact, if I saw that on a card, I'd buy it.

Absolutely fabulous, Debi!

D.C. Confidential said...

P.S. I forgot to add, naming a cat Ava Kitler is hilarious! Bad taste, perhaps, but apropos nonetheless for a feline! I think I'm going to change the DBC's name to Adolf the next time he hisses at me and takes a swipe!