Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photographing the Implements of Torture

This morning I headed over to my dentist to have him work on my tooth; it lost its gold crown about two weeks ago, when I was conducting the first of two photography tours of the Southwest. I'm not sure what possessed me to chomp onto a proffered piece of salt water taffy. That sticky confection pulled my gold filling right off the tooth on which it had sat solidly for many years.

Losing the crown, though, was neither painful nor depressing. That gold crown was visible every time I opened my mouth (and anyone who knows me knows how much I like to talk); I am going to prefer the natural look of the new crown I've ordered up.

Meanwhile, after an injection of a painkiller, my dentist and his aides spent about 45 minutes grinding and filing the tooth and suctioning out saliva and blood, in order to place a temporary crown that will be replaced with a permanent version in a few weeks.

During that process, I pulled out my iPhone and made a few photographs, surprising Dr. Meade and Mai. This was a first for them - and for me, too. I even made several images with the camera extended, looking back at two pairs of hands working over my mouth. It was not a pretty picture and I have wisely chosen to not to showcase it - at least not today.

My little iPhone does make for a worthy camera. I don't think, for example, I could have made the same photographs with my behemoth-sized Nikon DSLR. The intimidation factor of working with a camera like that might have risked serious damage to my tooth/teeth, worse than what happened when I made the mistake of chewing on that piece of taffy.

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