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My favorite pearl of fortune-cookie wisdom is “Good luck comes from good planning.” That could easily be the motto of National Geographic photographer James Stanfield. In Mongolia, after following a woman from yurt to yurt all day, Stanfield photographed her just as a bicyclist’s late-afternoon shadow rolled into his frame. In West Virginia, Stanfield spent days with a mining family before encountering the moment when the soot-covered, cigarette-puffing mother stood in a tableau with her sighing, wedding-gowned daughter. Sadly, both pictures were left on the darkroom floor. Stanfield will discuss these and other photographs from his retrospective volume, Eye of the Beholder, tonight at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., in the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. $10. In addition, Stanfield’s work—including the West Virginia shot, unmarred by the book’s unsightly page split—is being shown at the Society’s Explorers’ Hall, 1145 17th St. NW. Free. (202) 857-7700. (LJ)