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Photographer's Note

Does this belong to "Places" or "People"? Sometimes the decision isn't so trivial.

What does a smile mean? A kid's face adds interest to an otherwise rather dull Angkor Wat snap. So you crop it, do some basic post-processing, and can post it to a travel photography website. Amazingly enough, I saw the exact same kid in another photo on another website, taken by one of the thousands of people who go and spend a few days at Angkor. Needless to say, she was smiling happily in that photo too.

What does her smile mean? What does it mean to *her*?

That smile gives us a nice photograph and remains with us forever. The same smile gives her one dollar and perhaps disappears immediately, ready to reappear as soon as the next cameraed tourist comes along.

The relationship between two human beings couldn't be more unbalanced. And yet, even in its absurd combination of contrasts, I'd like to think that in those few seconds something more profound than an exchange of favours happens.

In that moment, when your eyes make contact with her eyes, something hits you in the face pretty damn hard.
It's not just eye contact, but it's your soul making contact with unfamiliar humanity. A "decisive moment". Being able to exchange just a few words with these kids is almost epiphanic. As you open your mouth to speak to them, you instantly feel your soul is connecting to something much bigger than itself.

All of this might just make the whole thing even more unbalanced. But this photo definitely belongs to the "People" category.

****
I've just noticed that Gunnar has *probably* photographed the same girl!

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Additional Photos by Mario Saraceni (drm) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 89 W: 57 N: 48] (486)
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