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Friday Slide Show: A Quick Walk Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

11 June 2021

Fatigue is an occupational hazard in any line of work. We're fortunate to be immune, apparently. So when we read in more than one place this week about the weariness some photographers were experiencing in finding things to photograph, we couldn't imagine what they were talking about.

Easy for us to say, perhaps. We have the world outside our door, nicely arranged. And inside there's enough accumulated treasure to qualify for a museum. Even when we suspect for a split second that we've shot everything, there are all those slides and negatives we still haven't scanned.

But, for those afflicted, there is a simple cure for fatigue.

For a photographer, it is to stop trying to come up with something and, instead, strap that camera over your shoulder and open your eyes to the world. In a word: Look.

You can't see anything if you don't look.

You can't see anything if you don't look. And to illustrate this profoundly deep thought, we decided to strap our Nikon D200 and 43-86mm zoom over our shoulder and take a quick walk.

It wasn't as quick as we planned, even if one of the images shows a traffic monitoring device recording our speed only with the advice to "Slow Down."

We took 49 shots over a 3.25-mile hike that took a couple of hours. We just couldn't stop shooting. Or walking.

And, naturally, what we remembered immediately after were the ones we missed. Like the guy coming around the bend on an electric unicycle. Not even Cartier-Bresson would have gotten that shot. Even by accident. The guy came our of nowhere and sped right on into oblivion.

But what we did get were a few hard-to-believe rural landscapes in the heart of the city, some beekeepers in a subdivision of hives, a long sidewalk ending in a long flight of stairs that began with the chalked word "Start" at our feet, a display of paper hearts fluttering against a wall of glass and a few more images we couldn't pass up.

None of them could have been imagined in advance. As in, "I'm going out to shoot a guy coming out of the woods on a mountain bike wearing a helmet the same color as the few flowers behind him." Or, "I'm going to shoot the pink flamingos at the Catholic School gym during Pride Month."

Nope, you have to wander off with nothing but an empty card and hope in your heart.

God knows what you'll see. But you'll certainly want to photograph it.

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