Monday, October 17, 2011

That Warm Blanket Feeling (Part 2)

More post-rock musical wonderment played over the car's speakers, familiar walls of sound that put the heavier aspects of thought at ease but let the creativity and inspiration to flow through, like a mental filter.

Both suffering from pangs of hunger interrupting the serenity of our otherwise candid moment, we decided upon a very hole-in-the-wall looking buffet which only portrayed itself in such a fashion from the bland, blank exterior. Inside, fountains and tall ceilings and a sprawling banquet awaited us, and we indulged in it proper. A filling hour long interlude during which we brainstormed our next adventure from approach to execution. Bill paid, we made our way back onto lonely Pennsylvania roads.

The drive was short compared to the one preceding it, far less distance needing to be covered. It did bring us through a before unseen portion of the city we found ourselves in, and if not for time constraint laid upon us by prior scheduled engagements we could've spent the rest of the day walking those streets and photographing the very old architecture that screamed early 1900's origin. Being a Sunday and still early by Sunday standard, the streets were effectively empty, making the few wanderers navigating the concrete jungle stand out as starkly removed subjects against a mostly stone and brick background. We mutually agreed the city required a return at some point for an early morning street walk and photoshoot, but our objective at hand was in a far bleaker region of the city.

Parked and again loaded up, we made our way to a familiar location. My "guide" had frequented the old industrial icon more than half a dozen time, knowing the place in and out, its dangers and risks and where the best light showed through. Some time early in the year I'd made my own journey to the place for some early morning images myself, but we were arriving at noon, and the light was bound to behave very differently. Despite a familiar entry and familiar layout, the deep spaces within the building harbored a completely different look than ever before, almost bleaker, certainly more depressed and gray than when cast in the encouraging glow of morning's rays. Because the origins of good light were limited, our shooting session did not last particularly long. Only one space managed to carry any semblance of warmth, a machine space with a mostly destroyed window frame. Our passing had kicked up a storm of dust that made the beams of light visible, tangible things, so clear that one could almost touch them, grab them and shape them. Easily the most beautiful scene the place had to offer at that time of day. A quick venture to some other commonly frequented spaces and we were very much ready to turn ourselves into the much more mundane schedules awaiting us for the rest of the day.

The ride back to the park & ride was quiet. We were both exhausted from a solid half-day of adventuring, both churning through ideas on how to best present the images when the time came to sit in front of the computer and slave away in post. Something about the nature of the shooting we both had an affinity for conducting, for the rest of the day everything else felt amazingly droll compared to what was accomplished prior, like a soldier who had seen much heavier realities than the one he came home to. Not that it necessarily was a depressing line of thought that ruined the rest of the day, quite the contrary. I had just returned home from being out at sea for months and exploring uncharted islands and bringing home souvenirs to share with those mutually curious. I felt pleased, enlightened, eager to share the stories of the places I'd been. Were I less sapped of energy I would've asked if my partner in crime felt a similar pedestal of enlightenment complex after returning to more normal things after having been so completely detached. Guess that's one for next time.

We parted pleasantly, both of us with things to attend to. So much time had already been spent in a vehicle that I took the time to stretch, my back aching as it's apt to do when locked into a seat of any kind for too long. It had been a good day, and I could've fallen asleep with utmost satisfaction that it could not have gone any better at that point, but alas there were still another 8 hours to spend doing something, thus I spent that time with family to bring myself down from my quixotic high amid good company. I shared my sense of accomplishment, shared some of the rough images on the camera prior to the editing I would later apply. I shared the story of the stranger I may as well have known already based on how ridiculously much we shared in common. And upon going to bed, the satisfaction of the day refused to wane...

...I dreamed of photographing some more.