Streets Near and Far
I find street photography a moody business at the best of times and no more so than when I’m travelling. Earlier this year I had great fun catching up with friends and family on a brief visit to Sydney, Australia. Two sentences instantly setting the scene of street photography dilemma for me – spending precious time catching up with loved ones which pulled at the urge to take time out and go shoot. But shoot what? And shoot how?
Brief forays on my own, and some in company, were exercises in sheer flat lining. Absolutely nothing to get excited about at all. I was getting an ok picture diary of time and place but really it was just people in funny t-shirts walking along the beach, or licking ice-creams, or playing volley-ball on the sand. I took a few shots of the Harbour Bridge, absolutely none of which would make anyone gasp with that feeling of “OMG this is the first time I’ve ever seen the bridge looking like that!” There are plenty of awesome scenic Sydney shots online, you know that, you just don’t need a piddling middle of the road one from me. Promise!
So with heavy feet and time dragging me back to where I needed to be I began to accept that a level of street shooting excitement was not going to get anywhere beyond a just this side of dead pulse. It was the travel, I was tired. It was the heat, I was tired. It was being busy, I was tired. I can’t do this anymore, I was tired. Plus, who said I could do it in the first place? You need an excuse for anything let me know, I have plenty.
Then I found the kids, just around the corner before quits. Hoping my camera wasn’t feeling as slow as I was I began to take a few tentative shots. The kids, absolutely God Bless them, hammed it up just a little before totally ignoring me. Not only was I not a problem, I just wasn’t there as far as they were concerned. This was like plugging me into an outlet or better still coming at me with a big fat pair of de-fib paddles. Talk about re-charge even though you’d never know it to look at me. Discretion after all is the better part of so much in life.
The funny thing is, I would never have been allowed to have this much fun as a young girl at their age, well not in a bikini and not with boys unless they were all good Catholic kids but then good Catholic kids knew better than to even try this. They knew they’d get caught, not even being naughty but sort of worse, being . . . cheap. I hate myself for even saying this here but it was a word that rang loud through my fear and loathing of childhood into adolescence.
This is way off the mark of where I thought I was going with this but see what photos can do to a person. Well perhaps not the photos themselves but the demons that drive a poor sausage to take the photos they do, and to get a kick out of doing so.
So thank you kids. It was great to see you all having fun in the sun and the water together, flying through the air absolutely unabashed and having the summer time of your lives. May you all live long, healthy, productive lives in love and friendships forever. Forever young!