The Klingons are coming! The Klingons are coming!
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.
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.
All images © K. Dao Photography 2012-13, all rights reserved.