Prickly Pete / by Mario Mirabile

A photographic excursion can produce nothing in particular of great value, pure gold, or anything in between. It's quite a lottery in some respects. There's always an element of luck involved, but much also depends on your ability to spot an opportunity, and to make the most of it. On a recent trip to the Victoria Market, I had a few OK shots, but nothing to rave about. Then I spotted Prickly Pete.

Prickly Pete was anything but irritable. When I spotted him, he was sitting quietly among the cacti he had for sale. I was immediately struck by the strength of character in his face. To be honest, I'm a sucker for an older bloke with a beard, and the longer and more unruly, the better. They add so much detail and presence to a face - an attribute that really sets them apart from women. Fortunately business was slow, so Peter had the time and willingness to pose for a few shots, and even consented to a request to remove his glasses. Fortunately, his stall wasn't right out in the open, and his nearly empty van provided an impromptu studio. I've always considered an excursion a success if I come home with one good shot. The second image I've posted made the whole trip an absolute winner for me.