Monday, March 22, 2010


 A drainage cover on a Chicago street.  Not particularly interesting, but I like the colors.

I know an explosion when I hear one, and that was an explosion. Within a few minutes,  a wail of sirens in the distance as the firetrucks and ambulance approach.  My neighbor's car has spontaneously caught fire and clouds of black, greasy smoke rise above the rooftops.

My first thought is to drive around the block and ensure that everyone is alright, both my medical kit and my camera pretty much stay in my Jeep just for this reason.  When I arrive the fire department is already working on the car, and everyone, it turns out, is just fine.  I watch the blaze, instinctively wanting to reach for my camera but 'am halted by the fear of trampling on the sensitivities of my neighbor. I project myself into his place, how would I feel if my car were engulfed in flames and my neighbor was happily shooting photographs of it?  Yes, restraint is called for; I let my camera lie.

How is my neighbor any different than anyone else that I take photos of?  I make my way into their world, often uninvited, and proceed to shoot their moments of great emotion, loss, elation, pain, happiness, etc.  I'm not good at that, I believe that I'm far too sensitive of others feelings to impose myself.  This is why I would make a lousy photojournalist.

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