This last Friday evening I finally made it back to Staley bridge (in Decatur Illinois)to shoot some more low-light photography. (I tried doing the HDR bit but that didn’t turn out so well an instead used Topaz Adjust). I got there around 10.00 and shot for an hour or so and shot for an hour.
For those of you who have not been on the overpass, not only does it get a fair amount of vehicular traffic but, as I found out, it gets a fair amount of foot and bicycle traffic as well. The pedestrians and cycles are mostly people who have lost their driver’s license and it is quite apparent that these people are alo either going somewhere to drink or are coming from some place that they have been drinking.
Anyways….I am on this overpass. It is dark and I cannot easily see or hear people walking/riding on the narrow sidewalk upon which I stand. Not until they are real close do I stand a chance to recognize their presence because my full attention is on what I am photographing below me. My concentration broken by the WHOOSSHHH! of a cyclist as he zips past me.
Towards the end of my shoot, this fellow on a bike passes by and wants to give me a “high five” kind of thing to which I accommodate the best I could. After travelling about 30 feet he stops and gets off his bike and starts walking toward me while carrying a cane. He is not using the cane to walk but it is quite clear he has a cane. Since he doesn’t seem overly menacing, I don’t get nervous but I do start collapsing my tripod before he gets to me and I make some mental notes on how I would react if he took a swing at me with that metal headed stick.
After some salutations and general body language, it was obvious he had done some serious drinking but taking swipes at strangers was on his agenda. After asking what I was doing he told me about his work as an electrician at ADM. This went on for about five minutes and I could barely understand him. Then we wished each other well and parted ways. All the while he was talking I kept thinking how I would love to get his portrait. It would have been impossible in those conditions…but it would have been great. An older black gentleman with graying hair and expressive eyes. His hand was firm rough as we shook hands. OOOHH, I would loved to have gotten a portrait.
Maybe next time.