10.20.2006

the great white whale

the whole photo thing is a odd little hobby
as it can be fun for me on so many levels

although I am not a photographer I do like going out and snapping some pictures
as I have said... going out with the camera can be like going fishing

sometimes I get a nibble
sometimes I get a bite
sometimes I can not set the hook
sometimes the fish dodge the net
sometimes the fish jump in the boats
sometimes all you see is the splash from a fish jumping across the pond

a splash across the pond may catch my attention
but sometimes that splash also reveals a tail
like the tail of a great white whale

there are cyclist I have seen or bikes I have seen in my travels on and off the bike
sometimes I do not have the camera
sometimes I do not have the time
so there are cyclists and bikes that I hope to photo at some time in the future

I saw a few small folding bikes recently
the first one I saw in the distance
the other I saw locked up
I shot some images of the locked up one
but it really is not that interesting without the rider
as it is just an fun little Dahon

but today I heard that splash and I caught a glimspe of that tail
being on my bike and having both camera and bike I figured I would see if I could track that great white whale
I was south of dupont
while I was south of dupont
she was exiting the park onto 19th street
while I was entering dupont from new hampshire avenue

I rolled through fast yet curious
getting stuck by a line of pedestrians walking 7 a breast
anxious to get on 19th and see if the white whale was swimming up stream on 19th
or floating down Q Street with the flow of traffic

after parting the crowd I cautiously crossed the street and got onto 19th after weaving through more chaotic foot traffic
on 19th I could see my target rolling between parked cars and traffic stuck like parked cars on Q Street
bumper to bumper traffic and a set of red lights made it was for me to reel her in closer
at the light I tried to make an introduction
the light turned green
then to another red I started my introduction
eye contact was not solid
I rushed to a simple
can I take your picture

the light turned green and the punk rock asian girl with a facial piercing and a folding bike with very small wheels rode on
with my camera already in hand I snapped a few pictures
as she pedal briskly ahead of me I tried to tell her my "bit"

she was not responding
so I rode forward to capture her moving from the front
she moved from the street to the sidewalk
obviously to avoid me
at this point my mind had moved to a more automatic set of objectives
achieve goal
get photo
so I rode ahead
a block later I waited
there was an awesome front porch on Q with a massive purple spider
I waited with my camera
finger on the shutter button
cropping the porch with home owner reading the paper behind the massive purple spider

at the alley before the porch my subject moved back to the street
I missed my shot
back to the pedals I caught her at the light
thought I could explain myself
thought she would laugh and thing it was cool
she told me I was annoying her
and a few explitives

I then went on my way
not feeling so good about how things had turned out
my objective was not to annoy her
yet I had
if only she understood my objective
she would respect my appreciation for her unique little bike
but now...
that is not how it played out
I was some geeky stalker invading her space and taking her picture

definitely not the experience I was trying to have or create

I can recall the first time I approached a female messenger
it all felt a little creepy
not so much that I really felt creepy
but more that I feared that she would think I were just some creep
it did not go that way
as a matter of fact I snapped a shot of that same messenger today
and I think I caught a few great candid smiles as she told me about her trip to Florida
also caught a few shots of her boyfriend minutes later
but no close ups
so I am not sure that they will work in together

the photo "thing" has a social element
I have no intention of the photo thing to have a negative element

I am still torn on using the images

off to see American Hardcore at E Street Cinemas

typed this with a great mellow background score from the Moby site


1 comment:

Jill said...

The way I feel about photos is that just because they are pictures of her, does not mean they belong to her.

They are your photos.

If you broke into her house to take them, that would be another story. But public places are not an invasion of privacy.

Even the law says that.