Presented without comment

I present the following photo entirely without comment.

As one of my followers, you know that I typically introduce my images with a preamble. Maybe it’s a witty remark with a double meaning, or a deep insight about the fleeting nature of time, or a simple statement meant to contrast the awe-inspiring grandeur of the imagery, thereby amplifying its impact. Not this time.

If you’re wondering why, just hang on — it will all become clear once you see the picture. It’s that good. I didn’t use a filter, either. It’s all natural light.

This is a new approach for me, as I’ve said. Normally I’m what you’d call a “stage setter.” I like to set the scene, shape the context around which my media are experienced. But this time I’m going commando. Frankly, I don’t know how you’ll react. Surprise? Shock? Joy? Likely all of these and more. We will know for sure once you’ve seen the shot, a vacation selfie taken outside a rustic but delicious seaside shrimp shack.

Maybe you’ve noticed this type of thing on Instagram or Twitter, where someone posts a photo and their only comment is “Presented without comment,” and what follows is a dramatic image meant to speak for itself, such as the Mona Lisa, or a photo of a row of people taking photos when they should be enjoying a moment, or a picture of a sign from another country that has been poorly translated. I love those.

My image, which is just a bit further down the page from where you are right now, is coming very soon. Please click “Like” or leave a comment if you feel so inclined. Which you probably will.

To preempt your questions: it was taken with my iPhone 5S at magic hour just a few hours ago. You should note the calmness of the clouds, the golden sunlight dancing on the waves, the way my hair looks.

Pay close attention to the label on the bottle of root beer I’m holding. It says “Pirate Root Beer.” That’s the brand. But that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I want your first impression of this visual to be as fresh as a virgin snowfield on a frigid winter morn. What I crave is your raw emotional reaction unspoilt by a preface, even if I do normally write a pretty good one, which is what I’ve been told by quite a few people. People I don’t even know.

I wish I could be there to see your face as you see the photo without having read anything about it!

Now that I think about it, yes, definitely let me know what you think after you see the photo. Give it a rating out of five, or whatever scale you’re most comfortable with. I don’t want to be too prescriptive. In fact, that’s the opposite of what I want.

If I was to give the photo a title it would be “Serendipity,” since everything came together perfectly as I was taking it, as you’re soon to discover. But I decided not to give it a title to avoid influencing your interpretation — the meaning you assign to it. I guess technically, then, the title is “Untitled.” But I will go with “Serendipity” if anyone out there wants to use the image in a photography textbook or awards show.

I bet you’ll be shocked to see me riding an ATV. Look for the parrot on my right shoulder. It landed there the instant the photo was taken and appears to be smiling. It just flew down out of a tree, perhaps drawn by the Laotian wafers I had been eating. With my fake earring and bandana and the parrot on my shoulder, you might mistake me for an ATV-riding pirate, just like the one on the root beer label!

Anyway, without further ado, I present the following. ♦

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