The Klingons are coming! The Klingons are coming!

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I must make a correction in my previous post, “35mm glass, snow, and gluhwein,” in which I claimed that no one on the streets had ever confronted me about taking their photo.  After some reflection while sitting on the L on my way to the Alex Webb exhibit, it occurred to that there was ONE occasion where a person confronted me.  A year ago while shooting around State Street, I was accosted by my subjects . . . Klingons.  I’ll let that sink in for a moment.  

The two Klingons were actually actors from a production of “A Klingon Christmas Carol” passing out leaflets of their play.  Of course, I did not know this when they walked towards asking in a menacing guttural voice, “Did you just take a picture of us?”  Thankfully, they turned out to be friendly (and honourable) Klingons and did not mind being photographed at all.  Qapla!


Meanwhile, I could not be any more glad that I attended the exhibit opening at the Stephen Daiter Gallery.  Mr. Webb’s works were not the only ones featured; on display also were the magnificent early works of Lynne Cohen, Stephen Shore, and Martin Parr.  While disappointingly I did not find a cute girl with a Leica staring at a black and white print and casually asking me what I think of it, there was good wine at least, and I left feeling both humbled and awestruck with inspiration.  Mr. Webb’s work in particular is so striking and amazing, and it is clear that Henri Cartier-Bresson influenced and inspired him to such greatness—I can only hope to be a fraction as skilled one day.  Unfortunately, I left the gallery with a woeful regret.  Mr. Webb was present, and I could not muster the courage to introduce myself and talk to him.  This was the second time in my life that I was ever starstruck by a celebrity; the first was over a year ago when I met Chef Graham Elliot, and that time at least I was able to shake his hand and give him my praise of respect and admiration.  I highly recommend for anyone in the Chicago area to visit the exhibit at the Daiter Gallery, which is on display until 22 February 2014.

I roamed around downtown for a bit after leaving the exhibit.  The irony is that while doing some shooting later that evening around Michigan Avenue near the Hancock Tower, I walked past a cute Asian girl with a Leica hanging around her neck.  My foolish fantasy was potentially before me . . .  if not for one problem: she was hanging off the neck of some guy I presumed to be her significant other.  I’m not sure what is worse, that she was already taken or that I did not get her photo.  C’est la vie.  I moved onwards.

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Despite the glasses of wine from the exhibit, I came home with dry lips and so poured myself a glass of scotch.  The bottle quickly emptied after pouring out a two-finger, and as I took out another bottle of Glenfiddich I had on reserve, the idea for an emotion-portrait of how I was feeling at the time brewed in my head.  With deliberate thought and a tripod-mounted camera for a clean shot, I positioned the two bottles of scotch accordingly with the glass, my street shooter, and a copy of one of my favorite books on the table.  I only wish there were two glasses instead, and a Leica next to my street shooter.  I reiterate: c’est la vie.  Maybe next time.

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All images © K. Dao Photography 2012-13, all rights reserved.