The rear of a building somewhere in Berlin.
It's been a cold, wet, blustery day in Austin. I've been cooped up in a conference room for half the week and crunched up in front of a computer for the other half and bad weather or not I decided to take a couple hours this morning and go for a walk downtown. The city is gearing up for the annual celebration of hip-ism and cultural smugness that we've come to know as SXSW (South by Southwest). I thought we just had the two weeks of it that combines Interactive, Cinema and then Music but I misjudged the show's overall ability to metastasize and continue growing and, of course I left out the newest added week, the SXSW Education conference. Yes, it starts tomorrow.
I carried around a big, black umbrella today. I held it in my left hand and swiveled it into an ever-changing compromise between the rake of the wind and the rain and good forward visibility. In my right hand I grasped the Sony a850 and it's partner, the Sigma 50mm 1.4. I tried for a while to keep water drops off the combination but eventually I gave up and focused most of my attention on keeping the umbrella from dramatically inverting every time I stepped into a new slip stream between large buildings.
It was nice to get out and walk but I was happy to come back to the studio and settle back in. I fired up the magic imaging box and went looking for the images I'd shot last year in Berlin. I remembered that I'd shot a few good ones and I knew that I set them aside and temporarily lost track of that train of thought. I was on a vague mission of rediscovery today.
The image above was one of those quiet images that sneaks up on me. I turned a corner and came to this quiet place in the middle of a bustling city and the quiet of the shadow side of this building made me stop and savor the intimate isolation. It felt almost like I was waiting on a rendezvous with a beautiful woman. There was a shimmer to the space that I couldn't explain. I tried to make an interesting image and pull in some of the feeling of amorphous anticipation that kept me company.
I love the blue of daylight peaking around the right corner and the soft green saturation on the top left corner from the light filtering through wings of green leaves. Diamonds and diagonals. Rich colors and muted colors. It's puzzle and a blend.
I was using the Samsung Galaxy NX camera I had on loan from Samsung, along with the little 30mm lens. It was a pre-production camera and it brought along its own idiosyncrasies but it was there in my hand at the moment and I used it as well as I could.
There is something so wonderful about wandering without agenda or angst through a city you've never been in before. There is a sense of anticipation and an ampleness of images that swirl by as you walk along that makes me feel as though I'll never run out of things at which to point my camera.
So, a normal lens and an incomplete camera...maybe that's exactly what I needed in my hands to stop and take this image. Funny. I never thought about it that way before.