Monday, February 27, 2012

Put This in your Pipe and Smoke It...

Well after a second week of weather raining out my original photo column idea, I was scrambling again to find a replacement. I got a phone call from one of the editors saying one of our stringers told him about a pipe smoking contest at one of the local tobacco shops. This sounded like it had a potential to be really cool, but then it got me to thinking, what exactly is a pipe smoking contest, and how does it work.
I love going to shoot small businesses, especially the ones run by smart owners. First you don't have to jump through a lot of corporate hoops to get permission to shoot and the ones run by smart people see this as a free advertisement. I really have no problem with that and The Leaf is a really cool place and the owner, Bill is a good guy and was happy to have the coverage.
So, the contest rules were pretty simple, everyone gets three grams of tobacco, two matches, you light your pipe once and the last one smoking wins. The great thing about it was, while it required some concentration, it doesn't take a whole lot to keep your pipe going, just a puff every little bit and your good. So, most of the guys were sitting around cutting up and having a good time. It made it really fun. I was a little nervous at first, wondering how many people wouldn't want their photo taken smoking. It turns out everyone was really cool about things. After about 15-20 minutes, things started getting better, some of the guys started blowing smoke rings... some better than others. This actually worked out a lot better than I thought it would and luckily the one I had planned that got weather delayed was able to be rescheduled, so I'm already set for next week.


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