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Are we on a different planet?

We spent a very pleasant weekend on Lopez Island a couple of weeks ago -- for those not of the Northwest, Lopez is one of the chain of islands in between the U.S. and Vancouver Island, Canada. The ones on the U.S. side are the San Juan Islands. On the Canadian side the Channel Islands. Lopez is largely agricultural with a sizable dose of tourist trade. It is fresh water limited so is not likely to become more developed (good). After we were on Lopez for only a couple of hours I started wondering if we had stepped through a tesseract and wound up on a different planet or in an earlier time. Seattle's South Lake Union district seemed a very distant and unreal memory.

During the summer Lopez has a busy farmer's market in the village (only one on the island) but not in the winter. However, in the off season there is the Little Winter Market held in a vintage 1917 barn on a dairy/cheese goat ranch with a bluegrass trio (quite good) holding forth from the hay loft, perhaps a dozen vendors, dairy goats close by, and a cozy blaze in a fire pit in the barnyard. This young woman was selling fresh cool-weather vegetables (organic of course).

I like this portrait a lot. Of course, she is an attractive young person with a lovely complexion (always a bonus). The rustic structure behind her and the lush kale and cabbage leaves in front of her make the place rather obvious.

She certainly doesn't have the harried look of a smart-phone-toting city dweller. I heard another photographer say that smart phones have made street photography a lot easier because people staring at them don't pay any attention to you -- but also made it useless because they are never doing anything but staring at their smart phones.

That's not it, though.

To me she exudes a since of stasis -- equilibrium maybe is a better word -- and appearance of not only being where she is but belonging to where she is. Looking through my box of portraits I don't find many others that strike me as having that sense of connection. October's print of the month "Portrait of Alex" comes close.


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