Peter Turnley

Peter Turnley gave a presentation, sponsored by Leica, at Kenmore Camera. I got there early, and was lucky enough to bump into Peter in the shop beforehand, and get about ten minutes of one-on-one conversation. I thanked him for his generosity in showing me a previously unpublished picture of Boris Yeltsin via Facebook a year or two ago. Perhaps one of these days I’ll make the time and have the money available for one of his workshops.

One of the things I’ll take away from his presentation was his analogy of photography to sports, and how you have to work out every day. You have to be the person who wants the ball in the clutch. You have to be familiar enough with your equipment that when the opportunity strikes, it’s almost irrelevant — you’re not fiddling, you’re shooting.

Another point was how human beings have developed a finely attuned sense of looking at someone, and knowing whether they’re uncomfortable or not — and we interpret discomfort as threatening (at least potentially). So always be warm, be happy, be comfortable in your skin. And the thing was, throughout the evening, he was all of those things, making it very easy to visualize him that way in the field.

A fine night.

The Hangtown Fry

hangtown fry

At the Wandering Goose, Seattle.

The origins of this dish go back to the California Gold Rush. Placerville, a town in the Sierra foothills, was also known as Hangtown. A gentleman, flush with gold, came in to a restaurant and allegedly said, “Give me the most expensive thing you have!”

The result was this: Oysters, pork belly, soft-boiled eggs, all on top of a bed of potatoes. At the time, it was the eggs that were regarded as the true extravagance.