Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky


Flame Dragon No. 1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

So, I was at the Chinese New Year celebration and I just couldn't seem to dodge the crowds. Every time I would line a shot up, heck even try to, somebody would wedge themselves in front of me, start moving around, bob their head into my frame, or, even worse, take out their iPhone and start recording. Some of them even did this with their arms high in the air or their elbows out, which doesn't make for very good pictures and just really annoyed everybody else. It made it impossible to take any quality pictures.

I figured out that the celebrations were following around some hanging bok choy. Each of the merchants would hang this bok choy in front of their shops and then the celebrations, along with the dancers and performers, would make their way around to the front of that shop. At one point, I setup in front of some bok choy, hoping to beat the crowds. There was a car behind me and I got as close to being under the bok choy as I possibly could, then I just waited for the celebrations to come my way. I had already given up on getting some good shots, but I thought I would hang out and hope for something, anything acceptable at this point.

My patience was rewarded because, this time, with this particular dragon dance, this particular bok choy, and this particular merchant, the performers grabbed a different dragon. It was longer, orange, and not as "puppet-like" as the other dragons they had been using. It wasn't a "fluffy cute" kind of a puppet-like dragon that flopped around a lot, no, it was more thin and less elaborately decorated. Most of the crowd was, initially, disappointed in this dragon so they started to disperse but not me. Me? No, I waited.

As the dragon rounded the corner and parked itself just about smack in front of where I had been waiting, I noticed something very unusual about it. Sticking from its mouth was a small pipe. Now, I didn't put two and two together in the moment but I do recall thinking, "Gee, I wonder why this particular dragon has a pipe for a mouth?" I didn't have to think too long or hard about this however. Within seconds of noticing the pipe-mouth on the dragon, the dancers demonstrated why this dragon was just a little bit different from the others.

It started breathing fire. Spitting fire out, from the front of its mouth. And, since the crowd had started to back down just a little bit, I managed to fire off (ahem, excuse the pun) some shots. I shot as best as I could with the crowd moving back in and the fire briefly spewing towards me.

What is it about me and fire lately? I don't know, but I sure do hope this ends well.

Until next time...

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