Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ants go marching

"As the clouds diminish throughout the area and the sun begins to shine, a pack of mountain bikers zip through Loch Raven Reservoir on Monday morning."

Ants go marching is the song, but in this instance to saying ants go munching suits the story.

Sometimes things fall through and after driving to my lone morning assignment, I came to find out that the grandparents and grandchild summer camp had been canceled due to lack of participants.

Shucks. While not the be all of photo assignments in the world, having something to look forward to when you get out of bed is always a motivator.

Nothing excited me more than knowing I have a laid out story in front of me where I can preconceive what I may or may not be facing when I get there. How will I tell the story? Who will be there? Will there be nice light? A few, short of a thousand, of things that race through my mind.

Instead of shooting this standalone piece I was resorted to calling the assignment desk to see if there was anything else was left open to shoot. Negative.

I started to make my way back in, hawking side streets for wild art or in simpler terms a feature. For those reading...ahem...mom... a feature is basically a photo with no real story attached, a standalone photo in the paper. Think fluffy kittens and a young child eating melted ice cream on a hot day. Or maybe fluffy kittens eating ice cream?

Anyways, I came up short and was hoping to either hang out with one of the photogs on one of their assignments or have a story come up in which I'd be sent back out to shoot. Nope.

Well, that was three strikes, and in my world Monday, that meant finding a weather feature. The sun had began to break through the clouds and I was challenged in jest by another photog to see whom could come up with a better feature.

Since he was going to be covering places in the city, I opted to try the county.

I sped drove to Loch Raven, hoping to find someone outside doing something, anything. After finding one fishermen on a bridge, who I've seen a few short of a million times, but never stopped to shoot or talk to, I geared my attention to the park itself.

There it was. Nice light. No shoes. Clear water. Layered with leaves. I started to shoot frames of another fishermen at Loch Raven Reservoir.

But as I stood there chatting with my subject, something bit me on my neck. OK, I thought, probably a random bug. Then another. And again and again.

Then I realized I was backed up against a couple leaves on a branch, but when I went to swipe away what ever I thought was on my neck, my hand returned to my vision to see hundreds of ants in my palm.

It struck me that the tree I was next to and brushing up against was littered with little black ants and now these tiny insects were all on my neck, biting me and crawling down the back of shirt.

Without hesitation I ripped off my shirts and shook them out. The fisherman probably thought I was: a pervert, hot or simply insane. Whatever he thought, I could have cared less, I just needed to get out of the the park with my couple features.

Overall, aside from the ants, I had fun searching for some features. Next time I'll probably stay downtown as I wasted a lot of time driving to and around the county.

There are far too many people and things that inspire me downtown to leave it when in a bind for art.


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