Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beauty in the Streets.

Another interesting day.
Finally back to class today after the flood damage on South Bank last week. Had a 1 hour and a half lecture on aperture, shutter speed, panning, etc. Was very informative, and gave me some new ideas and effects to try out.
Since classes ended so early, I didn't fancy the idea of heading straight home, when I was likely to just waste the day away in bed, whereas I could find something productive to do in the city.
So, went to look at some Macs. Druel. Can't wait to get one!
Then, went for a wander around the streets, not expecting to find anything of great interest. It appeared to be a fairly average day. But then, on an average day in Melbourne City, you never know what you might come across.

I headed down Bourke Street, knowing fair well that there was likely to be buskers here that I could photograph. I came across an elderly man playing a trumpet. He was so friendly, asked if I was a musician. I told him I used to be, but that I had given it up. He asked why I had given it up, and I held up my camera. Now I photograph the musicians, I said. He then asked if it was a hobby, or if I am making income. I told him it was an intended career, and that I was working on it.
After he posed for a couple of shots (haha, pro) I gave him some of the coinage in my wallet, complimented his music, and moved on to the other interesting people in Bourke Street.
Next I came across a homeless man who drew pictures and sold them. He had an extremely beautiful yet simple painting of blue flowers. I loved it. This however was $25, and I didn't have that on me, or I would have bought it without hesitation. I admit, that once I realised I didn't have it on me, I was about to ask him if he took Eftpos. The Crack Fox episode of the Boosh appears to be stuck in my head.
So, I couldn't get the picture I wanted, but couldn't walk away from him now. So I bought a picture of a dog that he had drawn; it wasn't nearly as good, but I it made my day just that little bit brighter knowing that perhaps I did the same for him. I intend to hang that picture on my wall.

Next I came across a man tap dancing on a piece of board. He was getting right into it, and was covered in sweat from hours of dancing. I sat at the steps and photographed him for a while, and soon noticed this strange couple calling out things to him, nothing mean, just strange things.

The female was clearly mentally impaired. She would pull faces at the people who walked past, and make weird movements. Her legs and underarms were unshaven and her eyes would dart in different directions. The man she was with started making conversation with me, telling me that not hours before she had an assult charge because she was dancing next to the tap dancer, trying to help him get some money. And apparently a fight broke out with a lady walking by. I didn't mind the conversation, it's interesting hearing the different stories on the streets. However, as this man kept talking to me about photography and how cameras work, the lady started dancing again. And it was beautiful. You would think he would know that I wanted to photograph her, not minutes before he had said, 'to make it as a photographer, you have to have an eye for the strange things in life.' And here was this extremely strange lady, dancing through the crowds. But he just wouldn't get out of my face. I did ask him, and he kindly moved aside and started dancing behind her, haha.

Once she noticed me with the camera, she smiled. I'd like to think that I made her feel better about herself, or special for what she was doing. While everyone else on the streets raised their eyebrows at the lady with the unshaven legs, scraggly hair and baggy clothes dancing on the steps on Bourke Street, I photographed her. Now a person who might otherwise be forgotten due to her state of mind, is immortalised in my work.
These are the moments and the feelings I photograph for.

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