Saturday was the Literary Extravaganza hosted at Beale Street Brews. This was the sec­ond sor­tie in a fundrais­ing effort to help stu­dents at the dojo (White Wind Tiger) pay for their fees for an upcom­ing tour­na­ment. Once stu­dents get past a cer­tain rank, tour­na­ment atten­dance is com­pul­sory, but the fees can run as high as $90 per entrant.

So one dojo stu­dent, in his teens, decided it might be a good idea to do some fundrais­ers. The first one, a car wash, went off two weeks ago and was the most suc­cess­ful car wash on record for the dojo. The sec­ond event, the Literary Extravaganza, was today; and it fea­tured books for sale by the pound, as well as open poetry and fic­tion read­ings. For a town as small, remote and rural as this one is, it was amaz­ingly well received. Between the two events, about $800 was raised. That’s not bad by most standards.

It was hot as hell today (105 in the shade), we had some­thing on the order of half a ton of books to sell at $1.50/lb., but still the key player and orga­nizer of the event took a lit­tle time to play with a cute lit­tle kid.

It was one of those moments that you either get or you don’t. I have a new D40 — essen­tially the same as the D50 I use at work, except it’s smaller and doesn’t auto­bracket expo­sure — and its com­bi­na­tion of instant-​​on, aut­o­fo­cus, trust­wor­thy expo­sure and white bal­ance and a flex­i­ble zoom let me cap­ture this. I had about two sec­onds to see the shot, turn on the cam­era, com­pose and hit the shut­ter — and of the pair of expo­sures I got, this was the bet­ter one.

Oh, the fact that the sub­jects were at ease helped.

This JPEG is vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal to the raw NEF I took off the chip; I only upped the EV by .6. I didn’t do any­thing else to the fram­ing, color bal­ance or what have you. I didn’t even need a fill flash; the shop win­dows reflected enough light to cover me.

Sometimes, you just get really lucky.

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Now how can you not fall in love with these kids?

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