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eBay Excitement & Santa Fe Workshops

You would never think that eBay could be exciting — or at least I would have never thought that before getting more involved with Mizuki's auctions. However, last week I was proven wrong. First you have to recognize that the format of an eBay auction is a bit different from ones we've all seen in movies and on TV. The key difference is that they are time-limited. When an item is listed, the auction of that item will be for a specific time period such as one week. Therefore the serious bidding takes place at the very end of the auction. (Tip: if you ever bid on an item on eBay, wait until the last minute before placing your bid — then bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay. The actual bid will only be a set amount above the current high bid but it, in effect, places backup bids if someone else is bidding against you.)

Last week, Mizuki had one item that had bids but the highest bid was disappointingly low. It was a nice item and with only two minutes left it was lingering at $176.00. In fact, at that price it was probably a break-even proposition — little if any profit to be made. Finally, with one minute and 51 seconds left, another bid came in at $187.51. At 1:34 left, another bid of $195.51. Fourteen seconds later, it was up to $201.51. Seconds later, $205.00. Then $213.51. I keep hitting refresh to see the bids as they are placed. Now it's $226.00. Then $357.55 (WOW!). Finally, $362.55. In the last two minutes, the bid price doubled. Reminds me of an exciting horse race where the underdog is coming on strong down the stretch and pulls ahead by half a length at the finish.

After all that excitement, I had to get back to a more soothing, relaxing activity like photography. As I mentioned earlier, I was planning to take a couple classes to improve my print-making and photographic creativity skills. I have procrastinated a bit in signing up because of the number of high quality classes offered at the Santa Fe Workshops made it difficult to choose. Finally, I decided on my two classes — Crafting the Fine Digital Print and Successful Travel & Stock Photography.

So I called the registration line and would you believe that the printing class is full — and I am now wait-listed for a class in July! Fortunately, the same class is also offered in November and I am confirmed for that. But I suspect November in Santa Fe, NM is going to be a bit cooler than Phoenix. And I don't have any heavy clothes. I guess I'll have to dress in layers. Or get lucky and clear the wait list for July. My fingers are crossed.

Ironically, I had the opposite problem with the second class. There are not enough students signed up — only two and they need a minimum of eight for this particular class (with two instructors, they have a higher minimum than with just one instructor). Okay, so can I be "penciled in" for my second choice (A Natural Eye: The Summer Landscape)? Unfortunately, that's full. And my third choice (Sharpen Your Photographic Skills)? That one is just right — space still available and enough students to hold the class. Phew!

The next day, I received a call about another class that is being taught by the same instructor as my second choice in a different location — Ghost Ranch, NM (near Santa Fe). From the class description — "Eddie Soloway takes his popular Natural Eye workshop on the road, this time to northern New Mexico's historic Ghost Ranch. Like Big Sur, the Yosemite Valley and the coast of Maine, Ghost Ranch has inspired scores of painters, photographers and writers, among them Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Strand, Marsden Hartley and Ansel Adams. The surrounding countryside features some of the Southwest's most awesome cliffs, washed in a rainbow of colors and dotted with ancient twisted junipers, while stately cottonwoods line the banks of the Chama River." Sounds good — I now have a new second choice — which will likely be the class I take since the registrar is pessimistic that they will get enough students for the Successful Travel & Stock Photography class that I am actually signed up for.

This photo from that area was taken by Ansel Adams.

As I write this, I am getting more and more excited because I am now #1 on the wait list for the printing class and will be thrilled with either of the other two classes. It should be a great time in New Mexico.


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com