But when I see the images produced by photographer Laurent G. in nearby India, I have to admit that there is an even more magical place on this planet.
Through the lens of a photo-artisan, we get another snapshot on an incredible India.
Now I regret that I may be guilty of cybertheft for posting the photographer's images on my own blog, but I hope it can be viewed more as homage than theft. In addition to a great photo, it is accompanied by interesting commentary, for which I will not re-post but instead provide a link: The Sweet Fragrance.
Illusion or Reality
Now in my own commentary on the image I'll risk stating one of the obvious attractions, the handsome man--with smooth, glistening skin and perfectly groomed mustache.
Another attraction, however, are the colors and how they are woven together in flesh, fabric and background.
What a wondrous illusion of beauty and perfection.
This is how I would describe many of Laurent G.'s images. They are real images indeed, not paintings and in most instances not even staged.
But I think they might also be described as illusory for the brief moment and miniature glimpse they provide of what is a very real India but one that perhaps only exists through the eye of the camera and in the instantaneous motion of the shutter.
I don't doubt that India is the most magical place on earth, but this image is quite simply perfection.
The less than perfect reality behind the image, I imagine, is the life of a hard-working street peddler of very humble means.
The fabrics which look so beautiful against his deep brown complexion are probably worn and tattered.
The man is most likely burdened under the oppression of the mid-day heat and the bundle he is forced to carry on his head.
Not really perfection, and if beautiful still, it is certainly a reality that many would not aspire to.
Ever So Intoxicating...
The sweet fragrance that the photographer refers to in his commentary is certainly as real as the roses which produce them. But perhaps less sweet is the sweat of the man's perspiration, although mixed with the scent of the rose could well be intoxicating in a not unpleasant way (something the photographer, in fact, alludes to).