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Friday Slide Show: A Long-Ago Halloween Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

2 November 2018

When someone asks us what we do, we tell them we write about photography. Most photographers are too busy to hone their writing skills into well-polished tools. And likewise most writers are up too late to spend any time learning much about photography. So we fill the need.

But that explanation rarely fails to persuade anyone that we're not a bum. And, the truth is, we have indeed been a bum. A tramp, in fact. On Halloween.

Twelve years ago we were in our parents' garage and for the millionth time navigating around an old suit jacket that had been repurposed as our childhood Halloween tramp costume. It finally occurred to us to photograph it.

We had a 10.1-megapixel Casio EX-Z1000 with us, which we were reviewing. It struggled in the dim light of the garage and the JPEGs it recorded are not wonderful images by today's smartphone standards. Even after stylizing them in Exposure X4.

But we thought combining the images with a little story would strengthen the whole. And that spark 12 years ago is really the turbine running Photo Corners today. Words with pictures. Photos with text. Both.

The story we wrote 12 years ago to go with the pictures we're presenting as today's slide show was a simple fable:

The Emporer's Old Clothes

The Emporer was a little boy who ruled the world one Halloween when, as a tramp, he won first prize in the mall costume party.

He owed his fortune, as well as his fate, to his mother, the Queen. It was she who eschewed ermine for wool, baubles for patches and silk for yarn.

Such greatness presaged many things, but the prize bicycle suggested the Emporer would go far in his old clothes. Even if, on the way home after the contest, he fell asleep.

It may be a fable, but it's also a true story.

Mom sewed the patches on the old suit coat and after trick-or-treating around the neighborhood with all the other neighborhood kids, Dad drove us down to the mall for the contest.

We had to parade across a stage (which was some sort of flatbed in the parking lot) and then the prizes were announced. And we did win first prize. It was a blue tricycle, as we recall.

We were interviewed by the local paper afterwards. When asked who our favorite celebrity was, we said Willie Mays because "anyone who does all those commercials has to be a nice guy."

The victory, of course, was not ours. It was our mother's for her inspired costume design. But, bum that we were even then, we got to ride the bike.

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