Minding my own business, focused on the task at hand, street shooting, I saw a scene that I like and made an exposure.
Unbeknownst to me, someone was watching.
I noticed him looking, as if studying me. He was sitting in the driver sit of his cab. I smiled at him. He came out and approached me.
He said, “I saw what you did.”
It was the first time someone noticed me— really noticed and saw what I was doing. I could tell. The grin on his face as he played with his gray beard, said it all.
He continued, ” I take photos too, but only the sky.”
He had an accent I can’t place. Indian? Russian? It was somewhere in between.
As our conversation continued, he told me he was from Iran, and his name is Jamshid.
He fished for his phone in his pocket, and showed me photos he took.
Trees , sunset, the moon, but mostly the sky.
He said that he has no interest in taking photographs of people. He said he was only interested in the “natural.”
“People are not natural, we change ourselves to something else all the time in order to please other people. You might shave because your girlfriend does not like it. ”
” … And the sky was here before and will be here after. People won’t.”
He said that at one point in his life he had tons of cameras. Even one as small as a finger. Made in Japan, he added.
He flipped through the photos on his phone, and showed them to me with pride, like a father showing his first born child, his smile was ear to ear.
His photos had a snapshot feel to them, but the quality of the sky were always painterly: vanilla in color, dabbed with brush-strokes-looking clouds and accented with either a faint colored moon or red sun.
Before he had to take a fare, he gave me a gracious offer and an advice.
He said that when he saw me shooting, he could tell that I really enjoyed it. And because of this, he wanted to talk to me, and also if I come back to the same spot, he would have a camera waiting for me.
But his advice was even better:
“Your eyes guide you, tells you to turn around, and your hand follows.. No thinking.. You see…Brain does not exist at the moment.. Just the spirit.
Practice practice practice…”