Saturday, February 24, 2007
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]
I've been taking walks through the neighborhood at lunch lately. It gives my eyes a chance to rest from constantly staring at the screen, which helps me clear my head and set the stage for a productive afternoon. I've been taking my camera with me not because I have any preconceived notion of what I'll see, but because I never know when something worth shooting will crop up. I hate being somewhere, standing in front of something photoworthy (yes, I invent words), only to be frustrated that my hands are empty.
On this viciously cold day, I ventured down a bleak-looking side street because I felt a need to be in a sad place (don't worry, I'm not depressed, but I enjoy walking through crumbling urban vistas. I'm strange that way.) On a forlorn stretch of pavement that could easily be mistaken for a back alley, I found myself standing between a curling club on one side and an adult superstore on the other. Cars slowly idled into the alley as their drivers pathetically attempted to avoid making eye contact with me.
At least two cars circled the block when they saw me with my camera, thinking that perhaps I'd be gone upon their return. I wasn't, of course. I smiled at them, almost as if to let them know I didn't really care how they got their jollies as long as they stayed away from me.
When I tired of making these pseudo-pervs feel guilty for not downloading it from the Internet, I turned to face the curling club. An ice-encrusted pipe stretched from ground to roof. There was so much ice around it that I didn't want to get too close lest it crack and fall on me. So I stood back and zoomed in. Normally, I'd let my eye linger in the viewfinder, moving the camera around to compose the most artful perspective. But it was reaaaaaallllly cold, and I couldn't feel my hands anymore (I apparently spent too much time laying the guilt on the pervs) so I tripped the shutter on a few different compositions and called it a day. I breathed repeatedly - and futilely - into my mitts as I walked back to the office.
As I look at this image, I think about the grotesque underbelly of humanity that I witnessed in the moments before I captured it. And I realize that a little slice of landscape-like magic was happening right under my nose. Another case of inspiration in the most unexpected of places.
Your turn: If you've got a smut-busting story, I hope you'll share it.