Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Farewell, Dear Winter

Yesterday the temperatures managed to ascend to a daunting 86 degrees Fahrenheit. That would be a 40 degree climb from just a week ago. Dearest Winter, I do believe it is time I bid thee adieu.

There's something about the bright sun, brisk winds and overall warm weather that make photography that much more enjoyable. Well, okay, that kind of weather makes pretty much anything outdoors more enjoyable, but that's not the point. No sane human being could pass up the chance to play in the first really warm day of the year, so as soon as work let out I hopped my happy ass into the toaster mobile and cruised on down to one of my favorite casual shooting haunts, the Patapsco River Valley.

I suspect all photographers have their special places. Often times they likely overlap with the special places of other photographers. After all, there are only so many scenic places in the world. Sure, you may be able to squeeze a masterpiece out of your own back yard, but taking a trip out to a special locale with clear and present artistic opportunities only enhances the creative flow. That said, I see lots of photographers in the Valley. It's a quaint little gash between the hills of Ellicot City with all manner of interesting visages and subjects and sprawls. And just as interesting as the place are the people you run into.

Case in point: Yesterday, while photographing the rail bridge crossing the Patapsco river I was randomly accosted by a young boy of maybe 5 or 6 and his father. I was minding my own business, contentedly shooting the tracks and graffiti-laden structure of the bridge, when I hear the little boy insist to his dad "Hey, go over there and ask him his name". Clearly the kid was shy and needed dad to break the ice. So he comes over, we introduce ourselves, and immediately this shy little kid blossoms into the most inquisitive young man I've seen outside of Hollywood film firing question after question after question. Being knowledgeable of the area, I tell him about its history, why all the buildings in the area are the way they are, anything and everything I could answer, and he just kept asking questions. It was adorable, really, and reminded me a great deal of when I was that age and taking walks with my own dad through areas not too dissimilar. Our encounter was short, but it was fun to impart some knowledge on such a bright and curious young kid. Lord knows I spend enough time mentally scolding the '00 generation for its obsession with fame, fortune, glamor and attention in general. That little boy gave me a little hope for the future. Kudos to his father for indulging that strong curiosity about the world.