the photoshooter's journey from taking to making

Posts tagged “Transportation

THOSE WHO STAND AND WAIT

Please Listen For Announcements: the iconic waiting room at Los Angeles' Union Station terminal.

Please Listen For Announcements, 2015. The iconic waiting room at Los Angeles’ Union Station terminal.

By MICHAEL PERKINS

SHOW ME A HOLIDAY SEASON AND I’LL SHOW YOU PEOPLE WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. They form lines for special orders, last-minute items, a kid’s brief audience with Santa. They hope to bump someone on a flight, beat someone out of a bargain, talk someone into a discount, refund or exchange. But mostly, they wait.

For as many festive holiday subjects that dance before the photographer’s eye, there are many more scenarios in which nothing much happens but..the waiting. And, while this seemingly endless hanging-out never offers images that define joy or wonder, they are fodder to the street shooter within us, the guy looking for stories. Stories of tired feet. Tales of people who can’t get a connecting flight ’til tomorrow at the earliest. Sagas of mislaid plans and misbegotten presents. Folklore of folks who are lost, lonely, disappointed, and down. In short, all of us, at various times.

Transit points are often among the most poignant during the season, with legions of faces that plead, what’ll I get for her? How will I get all the way down this list? How soon can I get home?¬†Your best bet? Hang at the train stations, the port authorities, the airports, and hear the plaintive strains of I’ll Be Home For Christmas sung in the key of ‘as if’. Seek out those aches, that weariness, the many false starts and stumbling finishes of the holidays. And keep your camera ready, hungry for whatever visions dance in your head.


A LITTLE R/R

Tempe Crossing, 2014.

By MICHAEL PERKINS

I CAME ACROSS SOME MENTAL BAGGAGE THE OTHER DAY DURING A SHOOT BENEATH AN OLD TRESTLE. The following song by the late Harry Nilsson churned back into my forebrain from a land far away. It wasn’t one of his bigger hits, but it has always struck a chord with me, at least the part of me that likes to make pictures:

When we got married back in 1944

We’d board that Silverliner below Baltimore

Trip to Virginia on a sunny honeymoon

Nobody cares about the railroads anymore

We’d tip the porter for a place of our own

Then send a postcard to your mom and dad back home

Mmm, it did something to you when you’d hear that “All aboard”
Nobody cares about the railroads anymore

Tumbleweed Connection

Woo-ee, woo-oo-oo-ee, woo-ee

Woo-ee, woo-oo-oo-ee, woo-ee

We had a daughter and you oughtta see her now

She has a boyfriend who looks just like my gal Sal

And when they’re married they won’t need us anymore

They’ll board an aeroplane and fly away from Baltimore

Woo-ee, woo-oo-oo-ee, woo-ee

Nobody cares about the railroads anymore

(lyrics copyright Warner-Chappell Music)

The ghosts are out there. So are the pictures.

All aboard.