Baby steps

1st March 2018

The tinted windows made me anxious the light would fade. I loaded a roll of film occasionally looking up to trick my car sickness. Gently climbing out of the cab I enjoyed the smack of a cold snowy breeze. The park was quite empty and looked alien covered in a white blanket. I was there to test my foot with a camera for company. According to google, the sun would set at 530 so I had an hour until I hoped a purple haze would hit the sky.

After 30 minutes of walking like a pensioner, the scene was yet to impress when suddenly out of nowhere a blizzard hit. The sky turned in a matter of seconds and the parted trees and windy path transformed into a painting. I felt joy. Not only for having two feet on the ground in a peaceful place but for the gift of artic ambiance. I fired off a few frames as a group of girls filled the space between myself and a translucent pavilion.

The counter said 8 as I fought against the wind towards the tall arched trees. Every passer-by was a questionable opportunity. A boy of about 10 rejected my offer when I explained my reasoning was to test a new camera for college. He looked at my 32-year-old face and suspiciously declined. I am getting old and fooling no one – that blag has expired.

A desaturated yellow bag and a blue coat hid a man walking towards me. I waited until he was close but pressed too soon. The shot was crap and as if to mock my attempt he lifted his beautifully animated face and smiled as he passed me in slow motion. His eyebrows and thick mustache were buried under an avalanche of snow and I could have sworn his green eyes twinkled as they locked to mine. He had worn leather skin with deep lines painted perfectly around his features. Damn. That was a shot missed.

My hands were uselessly cold which meant my camera was now redundant. My attention quickly shifted back to reality and the pain in my feet began to chant loudly. I looked down at my fur coat and boots sprinkled with snowflakes and remembered that I was not immune to the weather. I often forget when I am shooting that I am also there; that the snow hits me too.

After ten minutes I was ready for a second bath of the day and fought on to find the exit and take refuge in a newsagent whilst I figured my route home.

Walk one complete. Damn cold baby steps.

This image is from a trip to Romania years ago when the snow storm took us by surprise. Andrei guided me to a spot he recalled from his childhood. It’s the last time I remember feeling as cold as I did today. The other makes reminds me how much I need some vitamin D x