Earlier this week I got caught in a thunderstorm while I was on Main Street in Uptown. It happened again today as I stood in the doorway of Cluckers to protect myself from a swirling deluge of rain so severe there was no safety under any awning.
I thought about making a run for State Street which usually had more shoppers and increased my chances of someone dashing to their car because they needed to get somewhere rather than stay dry. I stayed where I was as I only carried the D5000 which is not sealed against the weather.
There were two people who braved the rain. The man above, caught at the “decisive moment” on his tiptoe leaping across the rain-filled gutter onto the sidewalk, was eager to meet friends for chicken wings and liquid refreshment. Given the same choice I’d run through heavy rain, lightning, and rain-filled gutters. Wise decision. Very decisive.
The other was a woman running to her car at the rear of The Old Bag of Nails. She couldn’t use the back door. It was closed because the restaurant’s outdoor grease trap had overflowed spreading the foul smelling viscous liquid into the lot, across the sidewalk and into the street.
She had not only to navigate a longer run to her car, she was forced to run into the street to avoid the thick layer of used cooking grease that blocked her path.
Then I wished I had a longer lens. My decision to carry only the D5000 with the kit lens was not a “decisive moment” for me although I liked the photos I got with it.
Business First has a nice set of articles about Uptown Westerville in its Friday edition. You can read about it on the Shop Uptown Westerville blog or stop by A Gal Named Cinda Lou in Uptown to read its copy. I had not yet seen the article as I stood across the street from Java Central with a rather unusual view.
It was a little after 3 p.m. and a brief lull in traffic and shopping cleared just two parking spots in front of the coffee shop. These two spots are usually filled with coffee fanatics or people running to Schneider’s Donuts for a sugar fix. Adding to my pleasure were two customer in an animated discussions sitting at one of the sidewalk tables.
I knew it wouldn’t be long before one of the open spaces would be filled and the unusual view would be obstructed. I’m always looking for better photos of Uptown, especially when newspapers and magazines are writing stories about Westerville. This was a good chance to have photos that were different. Different because they were shot with a telephoto lens from across the street.
In a perfect world I would have had more time. I would have wished for more people along the brick walk to the right. I would have added fill lights along the walkway. The trees would have leaves.
If this were a formal advertising shot all of those things would have been planned. But it would have taken more than the five minutes I got before a car pulled into one of the parking spots.
Still, I was pleased.
The Business First article’s lead photo is of Debbie Bennati, owner of A gal named Cinda Lou. It was taken by the paper’s staff photographer Janet Adams who I’m sorry to say I missed both her trips to Uptown to shoot the story.
I’ve a slightly long story about an AP photo stringer assigned to shoot a standalone feature photo of windy weather on the streets of downtown Columbus.
This was quite a while ago when newspapers ran more feature photos and The AP supplied an ample stream of standalone photos for newspaper editors to use for filler on open pages or to squirrel away for the day when the paper needed to fill the news hole, usually on the same day the food advertisements ran or the Sunday paper.
Some standalones could be held because they weren’t tied directly to a news event that would be too old to use in several days. The usual fare for this type of photo were kids, animals, sunsets, weather, or just plain silly moments.
The stringer’s assignment was to find a nice feature photo of someone being affected by the strong winds bringing a storm into central Ohio. Didn’t need something spectacular although that was always the underlying and unspoken goal of any photo shoot.
“Shoot for the front page.”
After about an hour the stringer returned explaining that it was windy, but he couldn’t find a good photo. Not even a photo that might have played on an interior page. He’d failed, and was embarrassed.
To shorten the story all you need to know is I went to almost the same location from where the stringer had just left. I spent less than five minutes and returned with a photo of someone using a parking meter to prevent themselves from being blown into the street.
Now the stringer was even more embarrassed , and I didn’t let him forget that I’d sent him out on a simple photo assignment where he’d spent more than an hour and failed.
I’d spent five minutes and shot a photo that played in every major daily in the state and several out of state dailies.
I’ve always said that I’m very luck finding more than ordinary photos in ordinary events. Today was no different. My trip to Uptown Westerville was supposed to be brief. Just long enough to check on my photos at the Ohio Art Market before traveling to St. Paul Church for another photo for the 40 Days of Lent series.
It was unusual to see several unoccupied parking spots on State when I realized they were empty because a construction van had just pulled into one of the three and had cleared the orange cones from the other two. The van belonged to a sign company which would be using a bucket arm for a painter to finish the new sign over Amish Originals Furniture Company.
It was a great opportunity for a standalone feature photo depending upon how the arm would be positioned and what part of the sign was going to be touched up. Shot outside first as he painted a lower section. When he began to move the arm higher to position it so he could paint the top of the sign I knew I’d have to run to the rear of the recently redecorated store and then to the front to have enough time to move furniture so I’d have to open a window, thrust my camera out and up as far and high as my short arms would reach for a photo. There was enough room to lean out the window, but it was just low enough that I would still have to stretch in a very uncomfortable position and get no higher than my outstretched arm would reach.
At right is the new stained glass window in the front of the church. Will have to wait until they change the lighting behind it or carry a strobe and remote to shoot it properly lit. It is slightly distorted because it is so high on the wall and I a l;arge hanging light makes it impossible to shoot without standing almost directly underneath it.