When I first started this photo project, the original intent was to try and take "portraits" of other cyclists. I had only a rudimentary understanding of the most basic technical aspects of photography in terms of shutter speed and exposure and whatnot (now it's more of a basic understanding) and left much of it to trial and error. Luckily, digital cameras are pretty intelligent arbiters of their surrounding and a lot of them will give you hints as to what to do. Especially if you read the instruction manual. Despite the tender assurances of technology, I quickly found that taking a crisp image of an object coming toward you at @12 mph while moving toward that object at approximately the same speed wasn't easy. Complex geometric algorithms, somatic in their formation take place in the head. You try to account for your breathing and pedal stroke -- the physical wobble that occurs, especially if you are going up hill and try to time it just right. Attempt to take pictures of oncoming cyclists is almost always a failure.
No. What I found is that it's much easier to take a photograph when still — when at a stoplight for instance. Also: pedestrians make extremely interesting subjects as well. New York.
I've an eager and reluctant eye and hit the shutter release button around 50 times during each 45 minute leg of my 200 + block commute. When I get home, I flip through the images on the camera before downloading and delete the most out of focus. Once I download them onto my computer and start to look at them blown up, then I know whether there's something there or not.
Here, I'm digging the Paul's Boutique-ishness of the image, but it's the two protagonists — Mr. Silhouette and Mr. Sol — that shake this image out of the tree for me. We're all just trying to get on with our morning commutes. Mr. Silhouette is off to whatever the day holds for him and the sun moves along its accustomed track. I see Mr. Silhouette on a regular basis. We're short-period comets to one another, weaving in and out of each others orbit.
I've only seen these two gentlemen, however, the one time. They make up the second diptych of the show.
These similarly aged and dressed gentlemen epitomize one of my favorite kinds of photo captures. There is eye contact with the subject (or at least the illusion of eye contact since they're looking at my handlebar, not my eyes). The awareness of something about to pass and experiential impatience with waiting for the light to change. These men have waited a long time for the light to change over the course of their lives.