4.20.2011

not a proud moment...

two different shots... both within moments of the other
one shot deleted... the other above... I feel as though I did not get the shot


ah... not a proud moment
not what I wanted to happen
not the way I want things to go
I do not enjoy when my actions agitate or irritate people
worse yet... I do not want my actions to put anyone into an unsafe situation

I do not enjoy that I was a contributing factor to this event
I did not enjoy that I had been the source of frustration with a stranger not wanting to be photographed

earlier tonight I was in the main square of the old city in Krakow
there I was with my two boys and the camera
we were on our last loop so that dad could snap a last couple of shots of people on their bikes before we head in for the night

it was an interesting and awkward combination of events
I walked the same set of streets I had walked the night prior
I had grown to have a good understanding of where the bikes are coming from and where they were headed
in the days and nights prior I had snapped a number of good shots and was starting to get more comfortable with the whole process

so... there I was walking with my boys camera in hand
shooting flashless... trying to get a few motion shots
I had walked the perimeter of the square with the boys explaining the basis of the "scan and pan"
trying to share my hobby with my boys
trying to help them better understand it is what I do when we move about with the camera

they know my blog... they have a pretty good idea
they are no closer to understanding it than anyone else in the world


we walked the perimeter of the square and I tried to get a few more shots
a man on a bike came past and I got down on one knee and tried to get a shot of him as he slowly drifted past
after he passed... he looped back
it was clear that he was not happy... his facial expression could be read in either English or Polish

it is never my intention to offend anyone
knowing that there is a wide variety of responses I was aware that people may respond poorly to having their photo taken
sure enough... this man was not happy with me taking his photo

this man with the beard and the blue beater bike spoke English quite well
... I was apologetic and offered to delete the photo immediately
with the display screen in front of me I worked through things in front of him and deleted the image

not trying to explain or justify my actions as he appeared to be agitated my by efforts
our encounter went from aggressive to pleasant quite quickly

in fact... he was nearly laughing when I responded to his question as to why I did not ask to take his photo... which was clear

"if I were to ask to take your photo... then I would be unable to capture the motion shot"
we shook hands...
he smiled as he rode away... I smiled knowing I had made peace with a stranger rather than making an enemy


a few moments passed
I looked off in each direction
getting ready to catch the next shot
not paying much concern to the events that had just conspired
those incidents are part of the photo process

just steps ahead of the last shot with my children by my side my attention was onto an approaching cyclist

she passed and I attempted to get a motion shot in the dark
after she passed my younger son said, "she liked having her picture taken... she smiled and looked back after you took the shot"

I listened to my son as I looked down at my camera
my attention was at the display screen as my son spoke... checking to see if I got the shot

then I glanced at the girl who had just passed on the cyclist to see the response that my son had made me aware of

then it happened... right there in front of me
no more than a few seconds had passed

she was no more than 15 feet away
when all I saw was a head on collision

this same woman ran head on into another cyclist
there was time for me to capture the shot
in fact I had to fight that impulse
instead I quickly rushed to the area of impact

the square is crowded
there are thousands of people milling about
cyclists meandering through at various rates
tourists moving about and tourists standing still
it is a mob scene

it was dead on
it was head on
right in the shadow of the St Mary's Church in the main square

without hesitation I was at her side
just as her rear wheel dropped from her "Polish Wheelie" I was by her side
she was on her feet and I was checking to see if she was okay... her English was good
she was quick to respond that she was fine
in fact... she tried to just mount up on her bike and head off without making a fuss

my focus then went to the man she collided with
I joked that he must be fine because he is a downhiller... and this was a minor crash compared to what downhillers are used to
but no... this man with his helmet and pads remained on the ground beside his long travel bike

he too claimed to be okay...
he also tried to just gather his wits and move along... only... he needed to get his glasses first

my boys at my side tried to help the situation
another concerned person rushed to their aid
blood was coming out of the downhiller's nose
the cotterless crank on the women's bicycle was bent... maybe her frame was bent too
her bicycle was not rideable

along with another passerby we tried to bend this woman's bicycle back into a ride-able state
but no... this beater bike that may have been a few years older than myself was in a sorry state
it may have been in a sorry state before the collision
but after this head on collision... it was not ride-able

and this young man with his downhill bike and downhill gear
well... his face was bloody and his eye glasses were broken

my younger son was telling it was my fault
I apologized immediately... in fact... I had apologized before my younger son had accused me of causing the accident
it was not that I felt that I had caused the accident
it was that I knew that I was a contributing factor to the collision

with no success I worked on bending the young woman's bicycle into a ride-able state
awkwardly I passed a handful of pieces that resembled eyed glasses to the downhiller

in less than a minute we dispersed
the downhiller went his way and the Polish Urban Hypster went her way
a Polish Police car went through the space that was once occupied by the crash
I walked on towards my temporary home with my two boys
still shocked at what had just unfolded

in the distance I watched as the downhiller almost had another head on collision with another cyclist and then almost got hit by a car as he passed through an intersection
the young girl

I tried to explain to my boys my contribution to the situation
but not my being the cause of the accident\incident

not a good moment

I hope everyone is okay
I hope everyone is at peace with what happened

the next day in the square I saw the man who had been agitated by me effort to take his picture
I jokingly approached asking to take his photo
manic-ly I talked to him as I snapped a photo of two women texting... one standing along side of her bicycle
he was pleasant... we laughed and smiled more like friends than strangers
but the young girl and the downhiller
I did not see either of them again
as said...I hope everyone is okay and also okay with what had happened

http://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=krakow
http://gwadzilla.tumblr.com/post/4726778643/krakow-cycling-chic-in-the-night-in-the-old



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