This is a simple one. I have loved the photograph above since I first saw it about 11 years ago. Why? Mostly, because I stop when I see it. The main elements draw me in. I think about the boys joyfully pushing this wheel with a stick up one side of the street. And the hearse parked across the street and headed back in the direction from which the boys came. It gets me thinking about the beauty and cyclical nature of human life. For starters. But it also can get me thinking about Cartier-Bresson's "decisive moment" and the satisfaction one can find in doing candid photography.
If there is a pup running in an image I've captured and he or she has all fours off the ground, it's a winner for me. In the photo above, I love the poodle in the upper right with ear leathers in full extension as if to enhance the force of lift. I also really like the look on the senior yellow Lab's face as he's watching the Shepherd-mix who had been digging that hole for quite some time and wasn't giving any hints of finishing before "reaching China." Yeller seems to be saying, "...why are you doing that?" That was back four months ago in June.
Growing up in Southern California, I didn't really know what Indian Summer was about. And so, I'd imagine that we were having our version of Indian Summer on warmish autumn days when the skies were so clear that you could start to see the rocky edges of Catalina Island and you knew that it would cool off after sunset so that you'd need a hoodie. We've been having the Southern California version of Indian Summer here in the last third of October this year. And I unashamedly enjoy taking sunset photos when these are the conditions. Lots of them. I had a dozen or so that I liked that looked over the dog beach toward Long Beach. In editing down to the favorite below, I went for the one that had the pup running parallel to the picture plane with all fours off the ground, even if one has to look really close to see it.
My editorial skills are very scientific.
I figured this fella and I were about to the same stage in our respective life cycles. When I showed this photo to my nephew, he said that he had seen "the old guy" on the beaches and at the surf camp where we're lodging. Youthful mis-judgements aside, this yellow sweetheart came up and sat in front of me as I drank a beer, a Tona, and watched the surfers at sunset at the Miramar Surf Camp in Nicaragua.
Heeding advice that if I don't know exactly what my one specific passion is into which I should pour my heart and soul, then, rather than spin to no avail it may be best to zealously follow my curiosity. And so I do this with what looks a lot like passion. This morning while eating breakfast at the Miramar Surf Camp in Nicaragua, I was hounded by a feisty little kitten to "please feed the starving kittens of Nicaragua." I've owned cats and I don't dislike them, but I have decidedly taken to dogs over the last couple of decades. The great universal debates aside, I loved the spunk, feistiness and confidence of this kit of a gray tabby that I named Pedro. And I remember asking myself, where does Pedro nap to store up this energy? I was sure that he had some cool spots back in the oceanfront jungle to rejuvenate himself. Later in the morning, I took a break from working to get a cup of coffee. So much for cool jungle floors to sleep on.