SET – Abandon (January 2014 – Canon 1000D – Grottaglie)
Above is the result of my Saturday morning walk in Grottaglie, my adoption town for this past year and a half and for the time being.
I can finally state without a doubt that it is indeed important to set projects and goals (even if they are mini goals) in Photography. And this blog really helps… So if I think about it and go back 6 months, I would have just slept in, but instead I behaved. I went to bed relatively early (00:30 am) and set my alarm clock to 8:30. The mini-goal was to dedicate two mornings of this weekend to my project which I came up with on my previous post.
I woke up 30 mins earlier than the alarm clock at 8. MARVELOUS. I got back to bed and got up again when the alarm went off. I stretched, made some coffee, checked my mail, randomly surfed my RSS reader. 9:15 I was under the shower, 9:45 I was walking in the streets (amazing). So I decided to take my digital Canon EOS with me, after exactly a 2 month break. The only reason i did this is because I wanted to make sure I started and accomplished my project during the weekend. I brought with me one lens, my Tamron 28-75 f2.8, my favorite. I did not feel rusty at all with the digital camera in managing it, but I did find myself more “economic” in shooting than ever before. In this way film photography has definitely taught me the economics of shooting which is the opposite of what I used to do, which was randomly take shots here and there that I would not give any attention to when I was editing.
Lets get nerdy for a second here. I shot a total of 128 pictures during my walk; 18 made it to the set (of course they are not shots I would candidate as picture of the year, but they all “belong” here). That’s just a little over 14%. I know it looks low, but it really is not if you consider that 3 good pictures out of a 36 roll is 8.3% which is my average. And mind the fact that the shot of the gas station is 1 among 20 so I did not start off good 🙂 Ok let’s stop being nerdy.
I started of course going to the place that started off the idea, the “abandoned” gas station. After walking around on the outside for a while I grabbed by courage and trespassed the fence and got close. After a few minutes I could hear over my headphones somebody yelling. Of course, at me. I put on the best smile I could while an old man approached me waiving his hands and cursing at me. I was still smiling. He asked what i was doing there. I explained I was a Photographer (first time I have ever told that to anybody out loud in almost 5 years) and it did in fact help when he understood I was doing it for my own pleasure only. I also told him the “abandoned” gas station fascinated me and he immediately interrupted me and said “No! It is NOT abandoned, it’s been attacked and so I had to shut it down but it’s going to be fixed, up and running very soon.” That’s when I understood he was the actual owner. So he explained to me that his was the city’s first gas station. We chatted for a few minutes (made me laugh how is biggest concern appeared to be not understanding why kids would spend so much money on paint cans), I took a couple more shots including the one above before I continued walking.
I went off south through a country road (the unfinished building), wandered off to the old train station where a homeless guy did not see me go in, saw me come out and asked “Who brought you here?!” I didn’t see a train coming!!”
I continued walking and at some point I decided I was done, I had enough and had accomplished what I had set for myself. I got a coffee in a bar, had a smoke, and walked back home.
What I appreciated the most of my walk was the fact that I didn’t care about people watching me, which is a really great improvement. Maybe the headphones in my ear helped me get away from the environment and separate me from the surroundings but I was able to disconnect. It was just me and the camera, and nothing was separating me from the shots that I was looking for.
My editing has changed as well. No presets here, just small adjustments to bring back the tones of the cloudy day that had accompanied me during my walk, applied to all the photos pretty much in the same way since they were shot in the same places, pretty much at the same time.
Well, at least for once I did bring to completion what I had set for myself a couple of days ago. Even though Sunday morning I slept in. And the weekend does not seem so useless and empty after all… I’m sure more are to come, but for now I hope your weekend was as fruitful as mine. It’s a good feeling. Next week I finally get to see my girl. Maybe some pics in Pistoia. Going to bring my film Pentax along with me with the 50mm and my compact Canon A3400, just in case.