Friday, December 18, 2015

The one where I don't get killed by a passing train

In the heat of the day
London, ON
August 2015
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This is one of those pictures that could get me into trouble. While I am absolutely aware of the dangers of being anywhere near railroad tracks, I'm not above pre-composing the shot in my head, pre-setting everything on my camera, then phantom-shooting it from the sidelines before looking - and listening - both ways too many times to count and stepping onto the tracks, tripping the shutter and stepping off.

Total time between the steel: About 4 seconds. I'm pretty sure I wasn't in any more mortal danger than I was when, say, riding my bike on a London-area road. I'll let you know if Canadian Pacific sends a lawyer's letter my way.

Safety concerns aside, I wanted to take this shot - if you're familiar with London, it's taken looking west from the intersection of St. George and Piccadilly - because it was a baking-hot day, and that does delightful things to the air just above ground level, especially on hard, gravel or otherwise industrialized surfaces. It doesn't get more industrialized than a railbed, so I planned the moment and took a chance. And the shot.

It was so worth it.

Your turn: Do you ever push the bounds a bit - safety, taste or otherwise - when you're shooting pictures?

1 comment:

Randy Dunlop said...

Absolutely - when I was young. It's a problem with perception; when you're looking at a scene on the ground glass, you're emotionally removed from actually being in the scene; akin to watching the landscape through a picture frame. Robert Pirsig wrote at length about it in 'Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
For me, it was, 'I want to get a shot of that 'gator on the golf course; with the camera to my eye, how close can I get to it before it lunges?'