Earlier this week I was very excited to be able to take a webinar class on Street Photography, as I have wanted to delve into this area of photography for awhile. I had thought that SP was narrowly defined as candid shots of people going about their everyday business. I was surprised to find that Street Photography also includes things like buildings, construction sites and dock loading equipment. That made me even happier, since I have been regularly photographing those things in addition to the photos of flowers and wildlife. But I’ve been afraid of photographing people. The instructor told us to just get out there and start. So the next day I gathered up my courage, placed myself on a busy corner with my telephoto (wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet away from other people), and started aiming my camera toward real, live, actual people.
Like anything else, of course, I’m finding that it takes practice, especially since my telephoto isn’t quite powerful enough for some of my shots and then I need to crop, thus losing some of the resolution. And I’m having trouble getting the settings right to both blur the backgrounds, and capture the moving person, even though I know in my head the range of what those settings should be. Practice should help me improve. But I’m really pleased with the start that I’ve made. For that matter, I’m pleased that I’ve started at all, because as I’ve said, I’ve been a little afraid of photographing people. The class gave me the courage to begin.
The second floor door to a modern day restaurant. In medieval times the structure could have been any type of food establishment or shop. Anything needing to be stored would have been hauled up by rope and wenches to this upper floor, or loft.
Now does this shot below give you any ideas? Hint: look at the copper part. What do you know about copper and brass and buildings?
Hint # 2: look at the copper pipe going into the wall of the building. What goes into a building only in copper pipes? Further hint: it used be delivered into buildings via lead pipes. Until we realized that that delivery system could cause neurological damage.
Still a thingamajig? This set of copper pipes with a brass mechanism delivers water. This whole section of dirt next to the driveway of a 100 year old apartment building spent the entire weekend dug up right through the sidewalk and into the street. At night there would be boards over the trench. By this morning? Voilá! Shiny new copper pipes with a brass regulator. I’m quite sure the residents of the building are glad that they have a new, useful, thingamajig delivering water.
As scary and heart wrenching and even terrifying as it is during this time, now is all we have. The past is filled with our memories, and COVID 19 has so throughly transformed our world we truly don’t know what the world will be like when we emerge on the other side of this.
But what we do with our time, our life of now, is up to us. I’m not advocating that we look at the world through rose colored glasses and pretend that everything is fine. We know it isn’t. I’m saying that each of us have strengths, and each of us know what helps us feel more whole. I can’t see my grown daughters at the moment, and I can’t hug my grandchildren. But I can still notice beauty. And that is one of the things that is helping me make my way through this. What we do right now matters. Our children (or our grandchildren) will ask us one day, “Grammy, what was it like? How did you make it through?” I’d like to have some answers for them.
What is helping you navigate this difficult path forward?
Please leave word in the comments. We can draw strength from each other.
This is nothing glamorous, or colorful, or even particularly well photographed. But it’s a chore that I’ve been avoiding for months. After two weeks of #ShelterInPlace, I decided that enough procrastination was enough, and I’d better get to it! Now the balcony is tidy, with dead annuals gone, extra potting soil put back in the bag, and the various now-emptied pots neatly stacked on the out-of-the-way small kitchen balcony. Even the additional fallen branches that I had collected from downed tree branches during the winter have been added to the “branch display” at one end, rather than piled in a heap right in the middle. Everything is now ready for new spring plants, once I can venture out to get them. Or maybe I can look into whether the small plant nursery is delivering. Hooray for ticking a neglected chore off the list!