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The Ironies of Life
(Among the Composite Images)
Copyright © 2019 OneWorldImages.com
During the month I spent in Vietnam in 2003, I took exactly five photographs featuring the elegant ao dais worn by Vietnamese women of all ages. The ao dai is among the loveliest, most flattering garments I've ever seen and is said to be comfortable as well. How I ended up with so few photographs featuring women wearing the traditional attire is beyond me.
Despite having only five photographs to choose from when I returned home, I planned to include one ao dai in my collection of Southeast Asian prints. As I was attempting to determine which of the two best images to print, I literally placed them side-by-side on my computer screen. After studying the photos for a moment or two, it suddenly dawned on me that the same two girls were present in both images. This came as a complete surprise to me. I had taken the photos in Dalat on different days and never noticed the similarities in subjects until I placed them side-by-side. The identical purses caught my attention - I laughed aloud when I looked more carefully and realized I'd captured the same subjects on two different occasions. (For a closer look at the second image, you can swap foreground and background images here. Also, whenever you see a rotating circular mask, your mouse can be used to control the mask position.)
I had many subjects to choose from, no doubt, yet I was subconsciously drawn to these two - twice. Perhaps it was their obvious friendship or simple beauty (or both). Regardless, it seemed just a tad ironic that I took five photographs of women in ao dais during my visit - and with millions to choose from, their faces showed up more than once.