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I know in my heart that it is a masterpiece. Over the years, I have consoled myself with the thought that the reason nobody appreciates or notices it is that it is well ahead of its time.
I first used the photo publicly as my avatar on Magic Cafe, but instead of earning acclaim, the picture got an oblique remark from one of the forum’s members. He insinuated I needed to hire another tailor.
Imagine that! The picture is a masterpiece, a product of creative imagination, and all this guy could notice was that my jacket had gone out of style before Christ was born.
I quickly turned him into a rabbit to put him in his place.
Anyway, as I said above, the picture was taken a few years back, during the dying days of film photography. The concept (me with four hands holding various magic props) was the product of one of those flashes of genius that strike me now and then.
I went to this small neighborhood photo studio and explained to the photographer the concept of the portrait I wanted him to shoot. “I want you to shoot a picture of me with four hands. One hand is holding a fan of cards, another a dove, a third a wand, and a fourth billiard balls.”
The photographer looked at me incredulously, as if I had just told him that he had won the lottery.
And so I explained to him how to take the shot. I didn’t want to Photoshop the photograph, so he had to take actual shots of me with those four hands without using any special lens, lighting, and double-exposure techniques.
I told him to use only two lights—the flash mounted on his camera and one small slaved light behind me.
I spent half-an-hour explaining to him the shot. I suspected he was blessed with an IQ smaller than his Cannon camera, for it took him long to get the idea.
At last, when the shoot began, he enthusiastically consumed several frames of film during a 45-minute session. By happy chance, one of the shots was usable. It’s the one you see on this page.
Unedited, un-Photoshopped, un-retouched, the picture makes me proud, because I was able to execute the magic without any digital manipulations.
Unfortunately, nobody else seems to be proud of the picture. However, lately when somebody posted it on his Facebook wall, a few people started to notice it.
Well, guys, if you love the four-hand picture of Leodini, you will love even more his other picture where he looks like Mel Gibson.
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