Caution, history ahead
London, April 2009 [Click to enlarge]
Photo by Zach Levy
About this photo: It's a yellow week, all week long. To get the lowdown on the latest Thematic Photographic theme, please click here. We're taking yellow-themed submissions right through till Wednesday night.The scene: Blackfriars Bridge. This wrought iron treasure sits on the eastern edge of the city's downtown area, carrying traffic as it has throughout its 134-year history. After picking my son up from a friend's house, we found ourselves with a bit of free time before we had to head home, so I suggested a slight detour and walkabout. Just because.
As soon as we got out of the car, I handed him the camera and told him to grab whatever he wanted. Carte blanche with his dad's camera: score! As we slowly approached the span, he methodically took it all in with his eyes, deciding what he did and did not want to capture. He noted how the perspectives continued to change as we approached, continued to make this bridge we had crossed so many times before look different than it ever had.
I deliberately walked steps behind him, resisting the urge to impose my own photographic will on him. This was his turn, and I was curious to see how he'd decide to proceed.
As it turned out, he did just fine. Left to his own devices, he told the story of this old structure in ways that wouldn't have occurred to me. Sure, he asked me questions along the way if he wasn't sure how something worked, and I did my best to answer them, quickly and thoroughly before reverting to my proud papa mode.
In the end, putting the camera into his hands and turning him loose opened my eyes as much as it opened his. And as he develops his own world view - with a camera, with whatever - I'll be perfectly happy to stand back and watch, ready to answer any questions he has along the way, but still content to resist the urge to grab the reins.
Your turn: Beginning to let go. Please discuss.