Nothing was really going right. I was standing somewhere on Wabash Ave. without having captured a single image. Not one picture in 45 minutes of walking.
I decided to change lenses. The 14-42mm that I removed from the camera jumped out of my hand, landed on its side with a thud, and rolled down the sidewalk 15 feet before bouncing off the foot of a homeless man.
Stunned, I just stared at him for a minute. He looked down at the lens on the sidewalk, then raised his head and looked back at me. I walked over to him, smiled, and picked it up. After a quick inspection as I strolled away, I didn't see any cracks in the glass. Amazingly, it seemed OK.
But still no pictures.
I walked another couple blocks without even bothering to take the camera out of my bag. Then it hit me. Just sit down for a moment and watch.
I found a tall, concrete planter just off the sidewalk, and took a seat. My feet swung freely like a little boy waiting for a ride. I began to feel better. People walked by without a glance. But I was watching them. I started to see things. I was feeling like myself again.
I'm amused by my tendency to keep pushing when clearly no progress is being made. What I really need to do is hit the reset button. Relax for a moment. Take a deep breath. Observe. Doing so seems to balance me. Why do I forget that?
I was just about ready to resume my walk when it started to rain. The drops fell gently, and they were warm. I was fine. I pulled out the baseball cap I had stashed in my camera bag, and went to work.
Over the next hour I shot nearly 200 images. Some of them I like a lot. The combination of refueling my energy and seeing the reflections of historic Chicago in asphalt puddles inspired me.
After a while, the rain stopped and the sun shone brightly. "Damn," I thought. It was time to duck in to a restaurant for a bite to eat.
I know that seems backwards. Most city people retreat from the rain. That is, unless they're photographers.
I'll take it easy for now, then be back at twilight.