Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Photographs & Russian Spies

At work we've been without internet for a few days. Since these few days have been our slow period, this left me trying to stretch about 20 minutes worth of work over an eight hour period with absolutely no distractions.

Yesterday was all foggy so I suggested I go take some photos around town, in hopes of getting something good for the cover. My boss could tell I didn't have enough to keep me busy, so out I went.

Typically when I see a good photo there is no where to stop and park, so mostly I drive around looking at good shots and then I park my car at the nearest store, church, or cult lodge. After that I have to hike along the side of the road and hope no one gets mad at me for taking pictures of their store, house, livestock, buggy, or weird getup.

So I spent a good two hours hiking through the Amish countryside. I did this in July too, but it's a lot more pleasant in the winter, even with the snow and slush and flash floods.

Later I went to take photos of science fair winners at the elementary school. The evil photographer was there, but she was chatty and friendly, which has never happened before.

Usually she's content to look at my poor little point and shoot camera with all the condescension of someone who is never without their SLR. She works for a real newspaper. You know, one that people pay a subscription for? My boss always says, "You work for a magazine," but honestly that isn't very comforting when it's newsprint and gets set out at stores for people to pick up a copy.

When I run into people a lot, but never talk to them, I tend to make up personal histories for them. It's not intentional, it just happens.

So the evil photographer is in her 30s, and she's from Russia. Her complete lack of accent doesn't really help this backstory, but for the purposes of my imagination we'll assume that she can drop the accent at will, like Hugh Laurie.

She's an American Citizen (obviously), but her job at the podunk newspaper is a front for the fact that she has ties to the underground soviets who are clinging to the hope of one day ressurecting thier movement. Because she has to be able to put thier plans into action at a moment's notice, she doesn't have a family or even many friends.

Much more entertaining than the more probable reality that she graduated from the local highschool, has 2.5 kids, is divorced, and recently took up pottery, where she met a swell guy.

The other photographer doesn't bother to notice that there are other photographers in the room. His superiority is made known by the number of lenses he has available for his camera, which must have cost several thousand dollars.
He's probably in his 30s too, he wears his hair in a trendy ponytale to let you know at a glance that he lives in a clean modern apartment, refuses own anything but a mac, and only listens to Indi bands. He probably heads eco-rallies in his spare time. And dreams of moving to New York where he will expose the impoverished American's condition a la Upton Sinclair or Jack London.
This is the most probable reality there is for this guy. His life couldn't be anything else. There's no way he's married either, I'm guessing he has some immigrant girlfriend who speaks limited English and hopes to one day get married, but knows the photographer will never commit.


Robin Marie said...

I love that first picture... I want a copy, so I'll probably save that one to my laptop.
Your back stories are great, too, I'm glad you have more today, too, btw.
How long has the Russian photographer been undercover????

Melody said...

Ok, or I can email you the file. The quality will be better.

She got involved with the soviets when she was 15. Her older brother was part of the group and she used to run messages between operations. Her brother was killed during a covert operation and that's when she was 20 and that's when she went underground and became a spy.

Robin Marie said...

thanks for the pics... and that's very good.

Quite young, but that makes it more believable. I can tell you've really thought this out

Melody said...

I have a lot of spare time during my work days.

Emily said...

love the stories

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