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October 1, 2009

The Good Ones
Thursday. I'm not sure why I shot, let alone used the photograph, other than someone needed to leave a parking lot faster than its gate allowed. We all need to bust out of something, somewhere at some time, I guess.

Cheap shot.

And a cheap quip!

Up this morning at eight, breakfast at the usual place to return to the apartment just in time to see my last Korean soap of the week. A bus downtown then for lunch with six of the old APL crew at Le Cheval, a local popular Vietnamese restaurant, and then return home now with the lungs all messed up. Which means what? Coughing? Yes. Short of breath? A bit. Lots of liquid sloshing around? Some. Maybe this is a last gasp, it has a certain feeling like that, and maybe I'm learning to live with whatever this thing might be. A doctor's appointment coming up next week, time to go over this thing in detail and hope he's listening. Still, a good night's sleep and now I'm back at the apartment after various adventures, nothing to complain about.

Driving back from breakfast I passed an accident scene at my corner on Grand, an ambulance in the process of picking up one of the bus passengers or perhaps the driver of the car that had evidently hit a bus in its left side (my number 12 downtown bus I noticed), two or three police cars blocking the right lane of traffic, white sand dumped on the road to soak up what I guess was spilled gasoline: police, ambulance attendants and clean up people all over the place. A lot of activity and a lot of commotion.

When I came down an hour later they were cranking the bus up on a truck, a single police car still blocking the right lane of traffic, two policemen watching the scene. One of the policemen asked about the lens on my camera and I asked if anyone had been hurt. No, not really, they said, so maybe the ambulance hadn't been needed. A little excitement for the morning, though, and a picture for the journal.

I don't carry a camera wherever I go in case I might run into an accident scene or some other dramatic situation, I carry it because if I don't carry it I'll never find enough photographs of a kind I like (to keep this journal). The bus picture is just a snapshot, a mark in time. Carrying the camera I'm looking for other things, sometimes I find them, more often I don't. I try this, I try that and in looking at them I hope to make progress. This one taken this morning when I was entering the City Center on my way to lunch. Anything there? Anything to teach me to look at differently if and when I run into this combination again? Can I see a better picture there with those elements? The tables and chairs are interesting geometric objects, I've shot them before, what is there about them I can fit to my particular sense of seeing? Just a thought. A reason I didn't pull over, park and take pictures of the accident scene, didn't even think of it.

Are you telling the truth? You can't find a picture that fits your bent at an accident scene? A scene you'd think with raw emotion and energy? Didn't you simply space out and forget you had a camera sitting on the car seat beside you?

There's not enough there to overcome my distaste for a kind of vampire aspect in latching onto other peoples' misfortune. I'm not defending my aversion, I think without it I might find some quite good photographs. I just wouldn't like, at least at that moment, the person doing the shooting. I wouldn't make a paparazzi, for example. Don't have the stomach for it. And yes, as I was passing, if I had it to do again I'd at least have a picture through the car windows. Just to mark the event, you understand, nothing you could call vampirish.

Do you judge others who do take these pictures?

I judge their pictures and admire the good ones.

The photograph was taken day before yesterday of a building parking lot exit gate near my apartment on Grand with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 35mm f 2.0 Nikkor AF lens at f 5.6 at 1/200th second, ISO 100.