When I left the home last night. I thought I had it all covered. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Camera with battery and card? Check. Tripod? Check. Off I went, as I drove to my nearby destination. After I parked and unloaded my vehicle. I realized that something was missing. Searching both my car trunk and my fading memory, I realized I left the tripods.release plate on the kitchen table. Disappointed yet undaunted, I tried to make the best of it. I found a nearby stoop to keep the camera steady while the shutter remained open. I took two shots, this being my favorite, before heading home in search of the missing piece. Surprisingly, the two images I did take came out pretty damn good.
As someone who’s always been in love with photography. I often find myself enamored with the styles and techniques I myself have yet to learn. With long exposures and night photography being a long time personal inspiration of mine. I felt extremely thankful when a friend and fellow photographer shared some easily applicable information with me. Being one who tends to crave the company of others as well as subjects to photograph. Time has taught me that time alone, solitude and the peace it often provides offer me more time to learn and grow. Something that almost immediately presents itself when working with long exposures Having only experimented with the concept on occasion over the last couple of weeks. I quickly realized the therapeutic rewards of these rare moments. As I stood there. The only time I really felt the least bit uneasy was when friendly neighbors stopped for a moment to say hello or if you’d believe it, to talk shop about gear. That hour or so where it was just me, my Canon 5D Mark III and my tripod was all the meditation one could ask for.
As the cars sped by on both sides of the concrete divider. I couldn’t help but think back to my earliest days on the Bowery standing just outside of CBGB’s. That short, yet treacherous dash from the curb of CBGB’S to the Bodega across the street was almost as risky as jumping in to a pit of raging fists occupying the real estate in front of the clubs stage. And just as I witnessed many enthusiastic participants knocked to the clubs floor. The number of pedestrians who never made it all the way across were enough to make one question how important that cold beverage really was.
Yet just as i left the nights event a few blocks south of my original haunt. I found myself setting up my tripod on that narrow slither of concrete known to many as a pedestrian divider. Having just recently been properly introduced to shooting long exposures. I was more than inspired to take what I’d learned to the busy streets of lower Manhattan.Crouching down, I quickly assembled my tripod and set it on manual. Waiting for the lens to close and complete the shot. I could feel the wind from the passing automobiles pushing me off my already unbalanced heels. Lucky for me. One shot, the one you see here, was all I needed. Using the little brains I seem to have left. I moved back to the sidewalk and on to Houston street to capture a few more shots before I headed home.
Realizing it was the fourth of the month and we had yet to pay the garage. We raced over with minutes left before a late fee would be added to the already pricy cost to house our vehicle. Though our attention was squarely placed on getting there before the strike of midnight. The layers of fog and downright ghostly spell our town had fallen under. Upon return home I quickly reached for my camera and headed back out. Though I have less than zero skills when it come to night photography. I felt I owed it to myself to at least try. The crisp night air and solitude provided a sense of tranquility I rarely experience. I find these little moments of peace to be priceless. It clears the mind while awakening the senses. Not bad if you ask me.
We were on our way home from an event at Asbury Lanes when we pulled into a local rest stop. Looking for coffee, gas to fill our tank and a functioning restroom (Not necessarily in that order.) It was about 2:30 am and the road was black as … well, you know. There was not a street light in sight and with the exception of the glow coming from the gas station there was nothing. As we headed back to the car I became hypnotized by the amount of power that small outpost resonated. I’d liken it to something out of Star Wars with the mighty and ominous Death Star floating amongst the constellations. With my wife in the car and the engine running I steadied myself as not to create any unwanted camera shake and took my shot before heading back to the car and my now cranky wife. More and more, I find myself realizing that it’s not the events I shoot that reward me with my favorite images. It’s the long ride home.