Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Magnum Workshop Day 3/7 - Still Searching
Tuesday. Now I was really feeling that I needed to find a groove and produce some pictures. I knew just how quickly it was going to be Friday.
I didn't sleep well on Monday night, thinking of just how I might get a photo story out of this week. Ptown was winding down for the season and I didn't want to shoot the more obvious topics. The Center for Coastal Studies was an intriguing possibility, but the chances of getting together with them while they were so busy were just too low.
I knew that I was thinking too hard about it, and needed to pursue something. Stop thinking and start doing. I convinced myself that the best opportunity to go a little deeper was at Rego Automotive. No, it wasn't a flashy story, but Pat was an interesting and talented guy, working hard to make a small business successful in Ptown. Since I didn't really get any photographs to share on Monday, I let Bruno know that I would miss the morning session and go pursue some images at Rego Automotive.
I was very pleased to find Pat already hard at work when I showed up, and that he was willing to let me hang around and shoot more pictures. I supplied several images to Pat and his wife, Lacey, to use on their facebook page. I am happy to see them on the Rego Automotive page, and hope they help!
Anyway, I spent a few hours hanging out, talking with Pat while he worked, and photographing the course of his business.
I left around lunch time, feeling that I had at least pushed a little further into a story. I wasn't sure that I had enough to make a project from, but the experience had been good and in the right direction.
In the afternoon, I rode my bike out to the National Seashore to visit Richard Ryder at the Lifesaving museum. Mr. Ryder had answered my email inquiry from before the workshop. There were no special events during my week in Ptown, but he invited me to come and see the regular displays at the museum. I very much enjoyed meeting Richard, and shot some portraits of him in the old station, where his family members had served in generations past.
Richard Ryder, Lifesaving Museum Historian
There was certainly a good story in Richard's own family history with the station, but the kind of story that's best told by a writer, not a photographer. Pleased to have met Richard, I had to scratch that story off my list as well, and move on.
Looking down the beach from the museum, I noticed a caravan of trucks on the beach, and a group of people surf fishing. It was a long walk, but I had to see if I could find something interesting there. The fishermen were all New York City employees - policemen, firemen, sanitation workers. They have been coming to Ptown to fish together for over 30 years.
These guys were super-friendly, and full of stories. I hung around for an hour or so, and shot what I found interesting, which was mainly their personalities. The fishing wasn't productive, at least while I was there. Looking back on it now, this was potentially the "one that got away." If I'd been prepared to spend more time with them, I could have really gotten something good. As it was, I had only my bike and camera, and felt the need to get back to look through my images from earlier in the day and prepare for the next morning's review. If I had it to do over again, I would have done something to ensure that I could reconnect with this group later on. I am sure that their evenings together were as interesting as their days at the beach fishing.
When I did get back to review my images, I liked some from Rego Automotive. But, none of them really showed much human emotion or connection between people. I still was not there. At least I had something to show and get feedback on from Bruno the next morning.
I did realize how potentially productive the fishing group was, and planned to try to locate them again the next day. I could have helped myself out by getting contact information so that I could ensure success. Lesson learned.
On this evening, Bruno Barbey presented his work spanning 50 years in Magnum. So many of his images stuck in my mind, but one of a huge crowd in Poland, umbrellas getting covered in snow, was my favorite.
(Click Here) to see this awesome image on Magnum's website.
Another thing that really impressed me was Bruno's recent coverage of China. Caroline, Bruno's wife, shared an amazing video of Bruno shooting in the Chinese streets and interacting with the people. It really gave the presentation a different feeling, showing how people enjoyed his presence.