So I’ve got some stuff teed up on Aperture, and Jay walks by. There’s a series of frames I shot from the same vantage point visible. He looks. “Way to go, McNally. Great variation. We’re your fucking feet nailed to the floor?”
No. Maybe just my brain. Had a tough day yesterday. Photographers. Sometimes, we are just so grandly, naively stupid. We hit the streets, our freshly scrubbed faces brimming with the enthusiasm and certainty that our next great frame is just around the corner, basking in newly minted sunlight. Given our general level of brio, it is sometimes confounding and disappointing to realize that not everyone in the world has signed on to this particular march of the pixels with equal vigor, or even reluctant compliance. That a lot of folks, for instance, in NY’s Chinatown, don’t give a rat’s ass you are trying to make art out of the dead fish they are busy making a living selling. There is nothing quite as shrill at 7am as the irate voice of a 75 year old female fishmonger telling you (presumably) to get our of her damn way and that she is convinced you are a mangy, homeless son of a dog and back in the ancestral village of her youth, she would find an entirely different, more practical use for you.
Shooting on the street. It’s sometimes like telling a joke that no one gets. Awkward, in a word. Why isn’t anyone laughing? Con Ed workers dress in orange safety jackets and blue helmets that look great in early light just for photographic purposes, don’t they? So why did they eye me suspiciously and send over the supervisor to question me?
Sigh. The brisk pace of our discovery process becomes a trudge, and the brioche french toast in that hip eatery on the corner of Prince and Lafayette is sounding mighty good. Shelter from the storm. Coffee.
But then you step back out into sunlight, and the camera comes up to your eye automatically. Like breathing, it is something you must do.