Monday, November 12, 2012

Pay It Forward and Happy Mistakes

I took the dogs to the driftwood beach on Jekyll Island yesterday.  By myself.  Pamela started her new job, a part time Christmas position at Belk, so I was on my own.

They hadn't been to the beach for a few days, and Olivia spent most of Saturday in her crate because we were at the Brunswick Stewbilee in the day and went to see Confederate Station in the evening.  Poor dog.

On the ride over, when it became apparent to Olivia where we were going, she started whining and wailing in excitement.  After parking the truck, I led all three on leashes to the beach.  Olivia was tugging for all she was worth.  We got to the beach but I couldn't let the dogs off leash right away.  There was a family with small children nearby, so I walked them down a bit and let them go.  Olivia took off like she was shot out of a cannon.

I had my camera, and I snapped a few pics of the parents playing with their kids.  Took a few of the dogs too.  We stayed for about an hour and a half and it was time to head back to the boat.  I called the dogs.  Ruby came over first and I got her leash on, and than amazingly Olivia came over too.  Not Chevy.  He was playing with a tennis ball behind some driftwood and digging holes with the ball in it.  He didn't want to go to the boat. So I dragged the other two dogs over and around driftwood, leashed Chevy, and picked up the ball.  As I turned around, I saw a wet, soggy, sandy wallet sitting in the sand.  I picked it up.  I had $122 in it, credit and debit cards, a driver's license, and assorted other stuff.  Somebody is going to be happy to get this back.

Back at the boat as I usually do, I downloaded the photos from the camera to see what I had, while I googled the owner of the wallet.  I got the number, called and got Rodney's mother.

"Hi.  My name is Dave Gibson, and I found a wallet on Jekyll Island belonging to Rod..."


Rodney had just awakened from a nap.  He lived 65 miles away, but he'd be right over to get it.  OK, I'll be here.

So, let's see the photos...  DANG!  I had set the ISO to 1600 to shoot Confederate Station the night before and forgot to set it back.  For you non-photographers, the ISO setting is the "film's" (sensor's) sensitivity to light.  It used to be you would buy film of certain ISO settings, but now you can conveniently set it right in the camera.  And inconveniently forget to set it back.  All the shots were ruined.   Hmmm.... actually, kinda cool.

Actually, those are pretty interesting.  I was shooting into the sun to get a back lit effect.  I guess I did.  With the high ISO setting, the sand and sea vanished into white.  I'm brilliant!  I've discovered a new photography technique!  I'll be rich and famous!

Actually, this kind of thing is called a "happy accident".

Actually, I just noticed I say actually way too much.  Sorry.  I'll try not too.

I was able to fix a couple of other shots not looking into the sun using my photo editing software by turning the exposure down.

They're not French kissing.  Ruby had the pink tennis ball in her mouth.  Chevy wanted it.

And he got it.

A short time later, Rodney called.  He was at the head of dock 13.  I fetched his wallet from the flybridge where I had it drying in the sun where the dogs couldn't get it.

It wouldn't have been good at all if the dogs got it.  They'd shred it to bits.

I walked up to the pavilion at the head of the dock and handed him his wallet.  He had a big, huge smile on his huge face. He was also huge, well over six feet tall and over 300 pounds.   He had lost his wallet fishing on Saturday.  He thought it would be at the bottom of the sea.  He canceled his credit card, unfortunately, but he was very relieved to get it and everything else back.  He offered me money but I declined.  I told Rodney that one of my biggest fears being in Georgia and having both of my bank accounts in New York and Connecticut is losing my wallet, and I'd hope that if someone found it, they'd be decent enough to either call me or turn it in to the police.  I told him to pay it forward.

He was very grateful.  He saw Chevy sitting on our boat, watching us.

"Is that the dog who wouldn't come and so you found my wallet?"

"Yep.  Are you afraid of pit bulls?"

"No man, I love pits."

"CHEVY!  COME!" I hollered.  He didn't budge.  He knows he's not supposed to get off the boat.  "NO, IT'S OK.  COME!  THIS WAY!" and I waved at him.  He jumped up, hopped off the boat, and came charging at Rodney at a full gallop.  He was all over Rodney, and Rodney was all over him.  He thanked Chevy, and then shook my hand and thanked me again.  I excused myself because Ruby was howling.  Chevy was off the boat and she wasn't.  

So yesterday was a different kind of day.  Pamela working, finding a wallet, and discovering the photo technique of the century.  Not bad.


  1. Hi Dave,

    That new effect that you discovered is something we used to use back in the 70s, using graphic arts film; pure blacks and clear on the film base, no gray tones. Shot it with a 4x5. Everything old is new again. ;-)

    Sounds like a good day - especially getting that guy back his wallet. Paying it forward is good!

  2. In a flash of clarity, it was called litho film. Graphics arts places used it to make lettering - made for some interesting effects when used for scenery or faces.