Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am starting to think about not only the photo opportunites that I have missed not only for lack of a camera in my hand, but also those images I have been reluctant to capture.

Someone remarked to me last week "Oh, it's always easy to tell how you feel." It was kind and lighthearted, and there is some truth to it. Always? No. I am certainly bossy and outspoken about some things, but like anyone else I have moments when I clam up and don't have the guts to say what I'm thinking or ask for what I want.

Sunday at church I had my camera in my purse. I got to the choir loft first, followed up the stairs by a sweet older Tenor who reminds me in some ways of my own father. He's very nice, and yet his presence made me too shy to take an opportunity to get a shot I've been wanting.

Stanley has a pair of shoes, which rest by the organ when he is not playing. They are beautifully aged leather men's dress shoes -- faded and distressed, literally cracked through on one side. The soles are worn thin. They are surely twenty years old, at least, and serve as tangible evidence that this man has been playing for years and years and years. I'm quite sure he can FEEL the pedals in these shoes.

I want to capture them, to do the image justice, and I am not sure a hastily snapped shot will ever succeed. Black and white? Sepia? Will the congregation below see my flash? Can I shoot at a different ISO? WHAT will Stanley say if he catches me photographing his shoes? Will he understand? I think he might.

I am quite fond of Stanley. My own grandfather (the only one I ever met; the other died long before I was born) had the same quick wit and conspiratorial smile. Somehow for me a photo of the shoes would be almost as much a portrait of Stanley as if I were able to take a shot of him smiling at me over his music rack.

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