As I have continued with my “250 pictures a month” project, I have learned a number of new things. One of those lessons has been that beautiful images are everywhere if I just look around and keep an open mind. This picture is an example of that lesson. It is a shot that, to me, exudes the quiet tranquility that one would be expect to find only in some remote location far away from all the chaos of the modern world.
But, the truth is this picture was not taken in a faraway place, and nothing about its location is quiet and tranquil. In fact, it is located in front of a large office building on a very busy street where traffic never seems to slow down much less stop. Thousands of people drive by this spot every day, and most probably never even notice it.
A year ago, I probably would have noticed it, but I would not have given it a second thought for a variety of reasons: it’s in a busy city, it’s on a busy street, it’s in front of a busy office building, and so on and so forth. I would have closed my mind to the possibilities before I had even given it a chance.
This week, I drove by it again for the thousandth time and, this time, I decided I would photograph it. But, it was the middle of the day, the sun was bright creating a terribly contrasty situation, and I wasn’t dressed for any kind of photographic endeavor. So, I waited until I got off work, and that turned out to be a very smart decision.
By the time I was able to get back to the site, the sky had become overcast which greatly reduced the contrast issue. I was able to park in the empty parking lot in front of the office building which was full of cars earlier in the day. And, most importantly, I was able to take my time to find the right location from which to shoot.
My goal was to imply a sense of peaceful serenity without any hint that cars were whizzing by me at 45 or 50 miles an hour less than 10 feet away. I wanted an image that would make me think about spreading a blanket on the ground and lying down to take a quiet nap. And, that is certainly the feeling I get when I look at this picture.
Settings: Canon 5D Mk II, 200mm, 1.0 sec, f/32