What I Was Thinking
Posted on September 1, 2010
So as I’ve mentioned before, I get a lot of questions about process, about how I work in the field, at home after I’ve made some pictures, etc. I thought it might be interesting for me to explain to you what I was thinking when I made a series of pictures. Now this image is not the be all, end all image of images, but I think it will relay to you what was going through my mind while out on a somewhat typical picture hunt.
DATELINE PANAMA CITY
The end of another long, hot day, somewhat successful, a few pictures and there. My primary reason for being in Panama was not making photos, oddly enough, and if I had to rank it I would say making pictures was second on my list of goals.
I saw this couple at a distance as I was walking what I would call a Malecon type place, an area in the old section of the city where people go to watch the sunset, hang out near a breeze off the water, etc.
“I gotta make something.”
“I’ve got to find something in this light, something, anything, right now.”
“If you can’t find something in this light you are a total loser.”
“You better start looking chump.”
Looking over I see the couple of the seawall.
“Oh man, I’ve seen that shot a thousand times.”
“Couple on seawall.”
“There has to be something else.”
I look right, left, up, down…nothing.
“I don’t care if I’ve seen it a hundred times…I want it.”
“I’m too far away, and there aren’t many people around, as soon as I move they are going to see me.”
“As soon as they see me it will be over and this entire idea will turn to crap.”
“Shut up you idiot and start shooting.”
“I know they are going to see me as soon as I move.”
“Will it help I’m wearing green?”
I move closer.
Taking a look at the light I move to f/2 at about a 15th of a second.
“Okay, I know I can handhold that, but anything slower will be a crap shoot.”
“And anyway, as soon as I take ten steps they are going to see me and it will ruin the moment.”
“Nothing to see here people, I’m a tree, I’m just a tree, a fleshy tree on a sea of concrete.”
“Holy crap, they haven’t seen me yet.”
I move closer.
Heart beating faster, thumb flicking nervously on wind lever.
I shoot another frame.
“Okay that was out of focus, I know it.”
“I was too surprised they didn’t see me or look at me yet and I blew it.”
“Calm down stupid, it’s just a picture of people on the seawall.”
“Nothing to see here people, I’m just a guy weaving around.”
“Thank God for cellphones, they are mesmerized.”
I move even closer.
“I’m right on top of them.”
“I like the city in the background,I want them slightly off center, and I need a gap between his head the buildings.”
“Holy crap, I’m right on top of them and they STILL haven’t looked at me.”
“What if they get pissed?”
“Why would they get pissed.”
“Can I out run that guy?”
‘”That’s okay, he won’t get pissed.”
“Why would he get pissed?”
“I think my shoe is coming untied.”
“HOLY CRAP THEY STILL HAVEN’T SEEN ME AND I’M LIKE FIVE FEET AWAY.”
I shoot two more frames, quickly, the second at an 8th of a second. I know I’m on the edge of sharpness but who cares.
“They see me.”
“I blew it.”
“Wait, the light is really nice and I can see catch lights in his eye.”
“I think it might work even if he was looking at me.”
“He doesn’t look pissed.”
“Should I bust out my Spanish on them?”
“I should probably just leave them alone.”
“I wonder if I’m going to have fish again for dinner?”
“My shoe is coming untied.”
“Why is it always my left shoe that comes untied?”
“Is it the way I tied it or is there something wrong with my foot.”
“I wonder how many rolls I shot today.”
“They look happy.”
“Should I shoot another frame?”
“No, I don’t want to intrude anymore, and now from this distance.”
“The moment is gone.”
“I think I got something here.”
“I feel good about this.”
“I think I feel good about this.”
“Fish sounds good for dinner.”
“Man it’s hot.”
“I think that was good.”
“I can’t believe I got that close and they didn’t see until the very end.”
“I should keep shooting, even in this light.”
“You idiot, you should have shot this with the 50mm.”