She appears as the Nikon advertisement in National Geographic or the full page advertisement for a photographic tour of Provence in a glossy magazine.
The Seductress is at her best when I unpack my new Nikon D4 camera body or click my the virginal 300mm prime lens onto the body for the first time. Its like a betrothal, a coming of age.
On every road in the photographic journey, in every state, in every country the Seductress appears from behind a tree or around that sunlit curve in the road. She beckons me coquettishly with beckoning finger 'Come photograph me'.
As the journey wears on I review my insipid, sterile images. Have I been beguiled by the Seductress? My images aren't sharp, many are overexposed. How did that cow's head get into my picture. I thought the ETTL system would give me a perfect pic every click. The horizon is crooked. My lens is dusty and covered in fingerprints. The Man with the Hammer has arrived. He belts my images for six! He tells me the images are rubbish, that I have wasted my time and money. The Seductress has won.
I try hard not to listen to The Man. My neck aches with the weight of 4kg of camera and lens; my camera bag weighs twice what it did this morning and a bull ant has left twin red towers on my bott-bott. The voice of the Seductress comes from afar ........ the Man is getting closer. I feel his breath fogging my lens with insidious pessimism, 'Why not try lawn bowls', he says.
Just as the Man with the Hammer is about to strike a lethal blow, like a gladiator in the Colloseum I see an image. A motor scooter rounds a bend on a narrow road. Shouts of 'Selamat Sore!' greet me. In an instant my right eye locks to the viewfinder and I shoot. One shot. Just one shot is all it takes to force back the Man with the Hammer.
In a smokey dusk I walk home. I feel like a caveman, club over shoulder delivering a dead warthog to the wench who shares my cave.