Once upon a time when the world wasn't quite going by at such a pace, it was June 2011, and I managed two photowalks in a single month. Just two weeks after my walk around the Cleveland zoo, I met up with Chris Miller and two of his friends for a walk around Medina, Ohio. I'd never been to Medina proper--I think I stopped once for gas on my way to Columbus, and I'd been to Chris's place for his birthday party--but I'd never seen the Town Square area in the daylight.
I was most struck by the contrasts in our walk. We began in the Rockwellian Town Square, almost a creature out of another time. About halfway through the walk, we moved away from the Square in the direction of the Farmer's Exchange, and the quaint visions of yesteryear were rapidly replaced by the lonely decay of modern Ohio, rundown, forlorn, abandoned, peeling paint consumed by rust and left to quietly wither away.
I didn't have a lot of expectations going into the walk, but I ended up with a lot of photographs that I like; many seem to reinforce my obsessions with: confusing signs, close-up geometry, drinking fountains, sunflowers, lines, abstract shapes, memorials, stickers in public places, sincere patriotism, ironic juxtaposition, warnings, chalk art, electric meters, windows, geometry and graffiti, urban/industrial decay, errors, other photographers, fallout shelter signs, numbers and letters... Sadly, the unplanned Abbey Road tribute didn't quite work out (bad timing on my part), but on the other hand I was delighted to capture a series of classic cars that drove through the Square.
Photography lessons learned:
Warm up before shooting. While waiting at Chris's place to coordinate with others, I popped out into the back yard to take some macro shots of flowers in the garden. This got my eyes and fingers ready to see and shoot.
Breakfast rocks. Especially at the local greasy spoon. I was a little too polite to shoot much inside, though; the people-watching opportunities were great but I didn't want to intrude on Sunday breakfasts.
Be open to surprises. I wasn't really that excited about shooting in Medina and had low expectations of what I might find. Instead I was surprised and delighted by opportunities to be creative, and ended up being both prolific and creatively satisfied.
Shoot with new people. Dan and James were not only fun to meet and chat with, but they also helped me see things I might not have otherwise seen.
You can check out the full set for the rest of my upload-worthy shots. It'll probably be a while before I post more photos as, after two week-long vacations in just over a month, I'm now several thousand photos behind on the review/post-process/edit/upload cycle, and I won't do any of that if I don't have the energy to really focus on each shot and give it the attention it deserves.