North Carolina, 1998

In an A.I. world, the pleasure of a simple irony, found and photographed, will be diminished. Oh well.

Why did several generations who grew up on the Magic of Hollywood, from early Disney to CGI, ever presume any image was documentary to begin with? And all efforts to control A.I. will be modest, and ultimately fail, because technology always outruns regulation and, sometimes, evolution.

This photograph, however, is a real scene. I was driving through the Blue Ridge and Smokies, playing with one of the early (new then) point and shoot digital cameras (a little over a whopping 1 megapixel) as I made my way home from a company meeting in Virginia, and saw this along the road. The only changes I’ve made to the image are to trim some blank sky and parking lot off the top and bottom, add a little contrast and sharpening, and a black border. Trust me.

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