Lots of different things.
For many years I never put people in my photographs. I would wait patiently even in crowded places for people to get out (out!) of my picture. I considered myself an observer of landscape and still life and nature, which I am, but this was to the exclusion of people. Family & friend photos were one thing. But on my travels I never wanted strangers in the scene.
I started to reconsider this on my own, but it was really Barry who encouraged me, by his example of taking great pictures full of people and showing them and talking about them, to start including people in the photos I take of places I go. Without the people of the scene, after all, you don’t have the whole scene. Towns and cities and most parks are made by and for people, are lived in by people. Who cares about another shot of some building, without the people that give that building meaning? I’m glad Barry helped me figure that out.
Unpeopled photos still have their place, and a big one. But I don’t avoid people any more (though I do still rarely take photos of identifiable individuals unless I know them).
Barry made me think of the Friday My Town Photo Shootout, and inversely. He’s the one who introduced me to it, way back when. At the time I hadn’t really looked at my new neighborhood (or the people in it!), and the early shootouts were a reason to go out and discover some other aspect of it.
My town having its Sunday Market.
A bridge meant for people. As most bridges are!
Today the Shootout is different. Maybe I’m just getting to the end of my time it (after about 65 posts, some of which I forgot to index), or I’ve covered the theme before, or I’m not as comfortable in a larger group of bloggers that I haven’t connected with personally. Used to be, I couldn’t wait for Friday, to read what marvels Barry, and Mark, and the others had come up with. But then Barry got too sick, and Mark has had other concerns, and while I still look forward to Fridays it’s not with my past enthousiasm. Every Shootout makes me think of Barry. What would he have to show us about Feet? I imagine he might have shown us Lindsay’s feet, before and after a run along the lake, neatly groomed, flying in a blur, wet, clotted with mud. There would be a hilarious story, of course. Or maybe something completely different. You never knew.
I miss Barry's Lindsay posts. They inspired me to experiment with a whole blog told from a different character's point of view.
Barry made me think harder about what it would mean to be a patient here at the hospital, rather than an employee. He made me feel badly about the condition of our run-down old building. Totally merited! It’s a mess. Nobody in their right mind would want to come here, especially when they’re sick and waiting for their appointment. We’re working on it (as you may have seen in previous posts), but it made me be more aware of my own part of it, and to get at my team to keep the space looking as nice and professional as we can, especially in times like these when the people coming for genetics consultations have to literally cross the laboratory to get to their appointments. A photo tour of the lab is here.
And not just the space, but our behavior. No arguing, no goofing off, no surfing Facebook. Normally, I tolerate a certain amount of goofing off and chatting. Our bodies follow 90-minute attention cycles, and it’s better for the day as a whole to take 5 minutes every hour and a half. There’s no point in cracking the whip if I’m just going to lose the good will of my team; we (most) all prefer and work better in a more relaxed environment. Just not too relaxed in front of the people who have been waiting 6 months for their genes to be sequenced! Barry made me think of these things more than I usually do, and I don’t mean to be negative about it. It made us grow, and be better.
Part of our waiting room, with cat.
Barry became a dear friend in the two years I knew him in the blogosphere. I was hoping to get to Toronto to meet him and Linda in person, but we just ran out of time. He'll always be in my thoughts.
For fellow Friday Shooters, visit here.