Street Photography, Inspiration, and Surgery

We pulled into the pet store parking lot on a nondescript early Sunday morning. I saw this lady out of my peripheral vision and I knew I had to take her picture. She carried herself with an air of calm and self-assuredness that matched the still and quiet morning. My mom barely rolled to a stop before I flung the door open, stumbled out of the car, braced my feet, forced myself out of my pharmaceutical-induced vertigo, cursed my stubborn inquisitiveness for playing with some manual settings during the ride there, began panning, hit the shutter and prayed that it would take.

Then the pain set in.

Rewind: Most people hear ‘back surgery’ and they think it has something to do with the spinal column. No, I’m fortunate that it’s not, it’s limited to drastic excision of soft tissue, removal of a fairly substantial cyst, an abnormal soft tissue structure and the subsequently infected tissue. So I’m a bit limited right now: I can’t drive because of legally prescribed drugs. I can’t walk fast, or very much. I have to guard the incision site. I have to be careful getting up and sitting down. I can’t crouch or climb to get a good angle. So on and so forth.

Today: I’m not sure exactly when the drive to take photography seriously came from, but it struck and it struck in a blazing inferno of obsessiveness. It started with nitpicking at my iPhone pictures, casually surfing blogs, offhandedly mentioning a decent-looking camera I saw once with every intention of doing further research and saving up before committing to a camera. Then, one day post-surgery my mom comes home and says “You have a package out front”. Boom! Early holiday present in the form of a ruby-red Nikon J1 because, and I paraphrase, there were no black ones left at whatever deal warehouse she bought it at and the white ‘looked like cheap crap’. Hey, her opinion, not mine.

The white model seems to attract more attention (or at least, people seem to favor it based purely on aesthetics) than the red, so at least the red is a little less obvious and thus more discreet, which is good.

I already have formed an unhealthy relationship with this camera, despite my momentary physical limitations.

It looks like I’m off to an interesting start with this photography mischief.


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