Sunday, October 21, 2007
This man, perched on a sturdy structural member of a building in New Orleans' French Quarter, appeared to be waiting for something or someone.
His appearance would probably be fearsome to many. The tattoos, the faraway look, his apparent disdain for what many consider to be proprietary demeanor sound internal alarms.
Close observation, however, reveals that his jeans were creased. He had the appearance of not being long out of the shower and his garments were clean. His "stuff" was in a bag and not a "sack." (This comparison is a southern thing.) I asked if he'd mind if I photographed him. He didn't. I gave him a few bucks for his modeling fee. I started firing away, hoping to get fifteen or twenty images, which would bear further scrutiny after processing. (This image was shot on film several years ago).
The time of day was early for human activity in the Quarter. Before 7:30 a.m. This is a good time to shoot people there. The ones who are up and stirring, I figure, are a hardy lot as opposed to their comatose brethren, who earlier tasted deeply of the smorgasbord of temporal diversions offered by the Quarter. This guy had visual promise. And probably a colorful resume to back it up. I was itching to plumb the depths.
My session was cut short. The promises of a good tale to be told were not fulfilled. The click of a shutter and color of green, at that time of day in the Quarter, are tantamount to blood in the water in shark territory. About three shots into the adventure, a couple of home-boys came and jumped in the session. The possibility of conversation and illumination of the subject's path to that moment in time was shattered to smithereens. So, more than a little miffed at the untoward interlopers, I packed up my stuff and left, seeking more opportunities.
After about a block or so of vehement thoughts, it occurred to me that, in this case, I was applying my rules to a set of conditions in an environment where my rules were not the jurisdictional edict. I was on their turf where their rules apply and mine don't. So in that case, I was the abnormal participant. It gave me pause to reflect on what James Thurber had to say about conditions such as these, to wit: "Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness."
Which I did. But nothing else as good as the tattoo guy ever popped up that day. Dammit. Life goes on.
N O T E :
Nikon N90s / Nikon 35-70 f2.8 zoom / Kodak CN 400 film / Scanned on Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 / Post processed with Photoshop CS3 with a touch of the Dragan* technique.
(*Developed by Andrzej Dragan)
Click the jump wings
to see the previous Photo of the Week. . . .