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Photographer's Note

This was my first attempt at a portrait. I had automatic settings and used a flash - the photo was totally "blown out" so I used the Blend mode in Photoshop - from Normal to Multiply. It was too dark so then I reduced the opacity to 50% and cropped from landscape to portrait 5 x 7.

The story behind the photo is that this man is one of the most influential people I have ever met while traveling. I was in a park in Guilin and had been traveling in China for about a week. I was traveling alone, and due to the language barrier I had not spoken to anyone in a long time and was feeling very lonely and isolated. As I was sitting in the park, this man came up and gave me a cheerful "hello" in a wonderful British accent. He completely caught me off guard and we proceeded to have a lovely conversation. I will never forget his reaction when he asked me where I was from. I said the United States, and he responded, "Oh, a very rich country!" Of all the things I expected to hear, that was not one of them. I was just a backpacker, living with 3 other roommates in a flat in San Francisco at the time, and hardly considered myself rich. But in that moment my perspective changed, and I realized that, yes, compared to much of the world, I am rich. For the first time I think I truly appreciated how lucky I was to be born with the resources and opportunity that so many people on this earth do not have, simply because of where they were born. It humbled me and I vowed to never take my circumstances for granted again. I have never forgotten this man or the lesson he gave me. The irony is, I think he is the one who is truly rich! I think of him often and wonder how he is, and hope he's still smiling.

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Additional Photos by Tootsie Bellittera (tootsie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 0 N: 50] (400)
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