Always Go Back

In January of this year a couple of friends and myself went to New York City to take photographs.  It was a long, cold day and although it was thoroughly enjoyable we were all exhausted at the end of it.  Our drive back home took us through a small town and while driving down main street we saw an old style barber shop that despite the late hour was still open.  The big windows and bright interior lights allowed us to see inside the shop while darkness enveloped the rest of the sleepy town.  The elderly barber, dressed in traditional garb was at work shaving his one equally elderly customer with an old switchblade.  It was a classic scene and despite the fact that we all commented on how it would make an awesome photograph the tiredness of the day had taken its toll and none of us could quite pluck up the energy to stop, get out and shoot away.  Several months later we still talk about that scene whenever we get together.  It was a missed opportunity that we all deeply regret.  Each of us vowed never to pass by such an opportunity again.

This past weekend I travelled out to western Maryland to meet up with some friends for a day of photography.  After an early start followed by a 3 hour drive, several hours of photography, a late lunch / early dinner and another 3 hour drive home I was absolutely exhausted.  While driving through a mountain pass just as the daylight was beginning to fade I noticed the white trunk and branches of a tree peeking out between the surrounding darker trees.  It was a scene that just screamed opportunity, but I drove right on by.  However, several miles down the road and after feeling terrible for passing by such a wonderful scene I remembered the missed opportunity from the New York trip and despite the fact that I was already exhausted I forced myself to go back.  The daylight was fading quickly and I ended up travelling almost 20 miles at well over the speed limit to find a turnaround that would get me to back to where I needed to be.  I knew that I only had a few minutes of light left and despite the fact that I was on the freeway I pulled the car over to the emergency lane, set up my camera right there on the side of the road, composed quickly and fired off a few shots.  The image that accompanies this post is what I ended up with.  I am pleased that I did not pass up this opportunity.

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1 comment

  1. Arthur, I love the way you write – outstanding.

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