Tranquility in Brooklyn
A long, great story behind this (and the next) photo. A few friends and I decided to shoot the Brooklyn area around sunset, which explains the blue color (somewhat long exposure on a night when the sun and sky played very nicely together - this is with really no touch-up in editing, either). We started in the park (previous photos), then made our way to the bowies and the view of Manhattan. This photo was taken a little before sunset. The area was filled with photographers who had set up their tripods and cameras. Everyone was just chatting, exchanging stories, tips, and inviting each other to shoot together. It was a very mixed group (age, race, gender), and that was really peaceful to watch. While waiting for shots, there was a older Indian couple that came up. They were in their early 50s, and asked me to take a shot of them. I was happy to oblige. As I was ready to shoot, the man grabbed his wife's chest unexpectedly. She slapped him, then they both started cracking up. So did everyone around. It was hilarious and loving at the same time. We chatted for a minute, and then they went on their way, hand in hand. Finally, there was a Pakistani family (with two young daughters) who walked by. A 30-something African American man also came by with his dog. The two girls were mesmerized by the dog (I'm not a dog person, all I can tell you is the dog was small), but scared to approach. The young man told them it was fine and they should just pet him. Another young child jumped the queue and started playing with the dog. The man loved it, and took a few photos. The kid and the dog were also having fun. He then kept telling the girls the dog was friendly. Their mother came by and told them not to get close. The young man smiled and reassured the mother it was fine. Before she could reply, the youngest daughter, no more than 2, decided to just go for it. She hugged the dog and had the biggest smile on her face. The older daughter also went for it. The mother shook her head and started laughing with the dog owner. After a few minutes of playing, the girls came by me. Their parents told them to leave me alone, but I told them to come closer. I showed them the view on my LCD screen and showed them what I was going to do. They were smiling....though maybe that was the after-effect of playing with the dog. Finally, the family asked me if I wouldn't mind taking a photo of them. I did, we chatted for a few minutes, and they went on their way. It was an evening of such tranquility, and somewhere in that process I snapped a handful of photos of this view. The pictures were great, but particularly because they reflected the peacefulness of the atmosphere in which they were shot. The scene around it made the scene itself - just a lot of beautiful harmony amongst all the people there. I'm not alone in this - everyone shooting spent maybe a quarter of their time focusing on their shots, and the rest interacting with everything happening around us. Its the best part of photography - storytelling through pictures, even when the stories are reflecting in, but not part of, the photos.