As a shutterbug, and nothing more, I take a few thousand photographs a year. Not a lot compared to photographers, but enough to have a little volume to it. Put another way, enough to make it impressive that I remember the circumstances or least the location of many of them, but not so many photographs that knowing any background is a lost cause. And I’ve done this for … a lot of years now. Sometimes you take more, sometimes you take less, of course. Sometimes you’re holding a real camera, sometimes it is just your phone. Sometimes you’re studying the moment trying to get it just so. Other times, you’re just shooting from the hip, as it were. Nothing special.
Sort of like this:
I was walking from here to there in Franklin Hall, walking south I suppose because this is the late afternoon and that’s the sun beaming in from Presidents Hall, which must be to the west, relative to my position here, of course. And if there is anything I’ve learned in the thousands of photos I take every year over the course of many years now I’ve learned that I seem to like shots of repetition and that I like those dramatic times when the sun breaks through into the moment. Also, I’ve learned that that moment is fleeting. I took five shots of the above, for example, and two of them gave me that big burst of sun. There’s nothing special about that.
Well, there’s a big ball of fusion out there and we are at a happy and safe distance that allows for the magic to happen here on earth so that animals could grow and then other things could happen and our ancestors discovered tools and ate the right things and then languages were formed and more, better tools were built and then storytelling became a thing which led to larger aspirations which meant exploration and experimentation and then domesticated plants and animals and societies and boats and the new world and electricity and this building and you, and me, here, today. So that part is spectacular, sure. But of this picture itself, there’s not much special, really.
But it did remind me of a similar picture I took in another school building about 20 years ago. Looking west, sun exploding in, overwhelming the settings and the sensor and throwing everything in silhouette. I wonder how far in my giant box of old print photographs I’ve have to dig to find that. It is a giant box, organized in no particular fashion. But as soon as I rounded the corner and saw the sun coming through the Franklin Hall windows and then through the glass in the doors of Presidents Hall I thought of that other photograph. Probably hadn’t in years. But it was right there, in my mind, another empty hall, another silly reason to take a photograph, another thing to file away. Nothing special to it.
You wonder what becomes of all of the things you file away in your mind, but then they sometimes comes right back. Maybe that’s the most special thing of all.
Shooting a talk show tonight:
The topic was helicopter parents of student-athletes. They should have brought in specialists and experts.