CARDINAL RULE: You never, ever know what you’ll find unless you go and see for yourself.
So while shooting cycle, er, cyclocross on Halloween offered me many familiar visuals, I did see something unusual, to say the least.
I spotted these two chain-linked folks at the starting gate, but I didn’t quite realize exactly what they were up to. Hearing loud, prolonged groans later from the peanut gallery at one bend in the course, I just assumed that someone had face-planted in spectacular fashion. But then I bumped into Mike, who had this funny, wicked grin as he described the scene.
People never fail to amaze me. Thank God.
There was some confusion, as the race was halted and folks asked to go back to the starting gate for another go. I thought it must have been because of these two, though cyclocross vets assured me that they wouldn’t stop the race because of the body mods. Of course, they were right. I think someone was injured and that led to confusion. I was able to photograph this couple a couple of times before they walked the rest of the course.
I’m realizing, looking at the rest of this body of work, it blends right in with many of my others: costumed athletics. That it actually happened on Halloween seems unimportant.
For me, this day started slowly.
Deb recently asked me if I like going back to reshoot my weird sports. I know I’ve blogged about this before, but in general, I don’t. I like things I haven’t seen before. Hell, I LOVE things I haven’t seen before. So, despite that Cardinal Rule, I don’t often return to visual gems I’ve covered before. I feel like I know what’s there. I want to use my time and resources to discover things I’ve never heard of.
Of course, that’s totally the wrong attitude. But it’s how I feel. I bore too easily and want more newness*. Mike wrote a great post about staying fresh visually. I should reread this each day with my morning coffee.
(*One huge exception is college football, which I could shoot all the time despite the endless, unimaginative images possible there. I simply like bullshitting with my friends on the sidelines. I miss that.)
I found 3 ladies cheering and dancing on the course hill. Joy had brought a blowup doll. She said she wished she could be in more photos from the PDX Cross crew. I assured her, bring a blowup doll to each race, and she’s guaranteed to get some exposure.
One thing that I’ve realized is that it’s OK to question your own program. I really despise the attitude by some photographers (and a few editors) that they dominate the industry, that they simply make magic with every release of the shutter. Such bullshit.
Most photographers I know have some level of doubt. Is the time, money, sweat, tears I put into this photo worth anything? If I ignore something, am I wrong or right?
But again, that’s OK. I think that doubt, at least for me, is a driving force. I can’t do things like other people. I can only be me. My issues and personality direct me on my visual path. Without doubt, there are things I’m missing. But then again, too, what I’m getting is 1,000% me.
Thanks to Rob for the place to crash, hombre. The roundtrip was a quick one, but well worth it. I made a photo that’s in my current book edit. Another reminder not to forget the Cardinal Rule. (Dude.)