Bookends

Many have commented privately to me about the photo above – which I have titled “Bookends”. Here’s the story…

Bookends

Sometimes I come across a scene that’s just right. But, that’s a rare event. Most other times, there’s just noise in my eyes – and I’m frustrated about shooting.

You know that feeling. You look and look – but don’t see anything. Nothing. Nothing interesting. Nothing compelling. Just noise. More noise.

Why do we do this to ourselves? In spite of it, we pack our camera and head out – looking for that decisive moment, even as it continues to elude us. Camera at the ready, we continue scanning for the right opportunity.

Our eyes are amazing sensors. We humans are so gifted. As we scan, back and forth, we begin to get inside the frame. If we’re lucky, we start to have “camera eyes” – seeing in that special new way. When the light is just right, we see whole new scenes. And, if we slow down – so important – we begin to see so much more.

Last April, I came across one of those frames – tucked away in the heart of the Brooklyn Bridge subway station in New York City. After a long day of walking and exploring, we walked down the stairway into the underground canyon of the station. We were dog tired – looking forward to an express train ride up the backbone of New York to get home.

As we sat down to wait for our train, I looked across to the other platform and saw an amazing scene. Quickly grasping my camera, I struggled to fire off one quick shot – as that one guy was looking right at me.

Turns out he looked away – up and away just as the shutter snapped. Perfect.

When I finally got a good look at the image, a title immediately came to mind: Bookends. Like an overstuff bookshelf, the two folks on each end of the image each flared out away from the rest. Bookends. A wonderful memory of a springtime street scene underground in New York City.

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