Thursday, July 01, 2010
My nickname for the bar is the Alley Oop because of some patrons who like to hang out front, right next to the sidewalk, and make annoying comments to passers-by.
Late evening. I'm walking home when I notice a potential image. Under a streetlight there's a handmade sign with a purple plastic twirler hanging down from it. Some of the light is being reflected back up on the sign, a twisted glowing ribbon.
The trouble is the sign is near the Alley Oop. Two patrons are standing on the front porch. They don't bother me but I have the feeling if I stop and take the shot, even with my camera not aimed at them, I might get hassled.
I walk down the street and think about my options. Come back at 3 AM and maybe everyone has left so I can shoot in peace. Screw it. Other option: Be intimidated by potential trouble and forget about the shot. Screw it.
In a while I return, noticing that no one is out front. But just before I arrive at the spot, two more patrons, man and woman, come out and stand around. I ignore them, get close to the object and take some shots, making adjustments as necessary. I'm close to the sign, shooting away from the couple.
I cross the street and walk away, checking my LCD screen to make sure the shots came out.
In the background I hear a gruff voice say, "Uh, are you some sort of artist?"
I ignore him. It's the guy on the porch. I know better than to reply. I don't know how lubricated with beer he is and I don't want to find out. His female friend laughs.
As I keep walking I hear the same loud voice say: "Taking pictures around here while we're having a talk."
I didn't take the bait. If he wanted a private conversation, he should've retreated inside to a dark corner of the bar -- there are plenty of them -- instead of standing next to the sidewalk.
What happened just reinforced my POV. Most patrons don't bother you but there are a few that will attempt to create a confrontation. No use talking to those types. To communicate on their level I would have learn how to beat my chest and grunt. And instead of a camera, I would have to lumber about with a beercan in one hand and a wooden club in the other.