Street photography: Feet

(This is Take 2 for this post. I published Take 1 after midnight last night but this morning my feet photo has disappeared. Never give up…)

Last year I gave myself a challenge of writing about unusual things I saw every day in my life. This year I planned to take a photography course and write about the challenges I met in it. So when I recently had a birthday, and was asked what I’d like for a present, I answered that I wanted a photography course. I didn’t get it. 

Never mind.

Yesterday, still wondering how I could improve my photography skills, I typed “Street Photography challenge” into Google. Up came several links to bookshops selling a box of cards with this very title, put together by David Gibson. Luckily it was for sale at the bookshop in the National Library where I needed to do some research. Amazing.

Today after my research was completed I went into the bookshop, and there was the box of cards on display near the door. I bought it, opened it, randomly chose a card as recommended, and came up with Feet.

Down beside the local lake I sat watching the feet of workers walking, cycling, or scooting on their lunch break. I set my camera to silent and monochrome, and aimed it towards the ground. The most surprising feet were on the woman in the photo below. You can’t tell but she was quite old, and scooted slowly slowly along, stopping and starting. I wondered if she was in pain. What was her reason for riding the scooter? I’ll never know. But her feet with their bandaged ankles were the most interesting and completely unlike any others I saw on the strolling and exercising workers.

It’s good to choose one photo from the many that we’re tempted to take with our digital devices nowadays, and consider why it has more to offer than the others. In the photo above, it’s the bandages. They evoke surprise, curiosity, even pity. The woman was passing me so slowly that I could have stopped her to ask my questions, but street photography is by nature a stealthy pursuit, like people watching. I hid my camera and turned away, though she had looked straight at me.

It was a good day. Within 24 hours I’d had a wish and it had been granted. Next week I’ll pull another card from the box and go back out into the street with my inconspicuous camera.




Published by Trish

Literary translator

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