Gentle monster

On the day that I made these images, I remember thinking that I had never experienced a sun shining so bright–nor, for that matter, had I ever seen concrete reflect as much lights as Broadway was currently endeavoring to do that late winter afternoon as I moseyed towards Il Cafe for a much needed coffee and respite from my aching feet.  The sun was so incapacitating and I was so hopelessly blinded that I almost didn’t see this man, the gentle monster, hiding in the long shadows as I made my way south past electronic stores selling old iPhone and Samsung models alongside dated looking digital drum kits and karaoke machines.  Past jewelers smoking unfiltered cigarettes pulled from chest pockets of colorfully striped, sweat-stained polo shirts who couldn’t help wiping their leathery foreheads with the backs of hairy hands and then on their wrinkled, pleated pants.  

It was almost surreal how I noticed every detail twenty degrees from center but almost nothing directly in my path.  So when the gentle monster slipped from the shadows in his pressed white suit and hat, making his way towards the curb, searching for something unknown to me, it caught me off guard.  Unlike everything else he was pristine.  Perfect.  I pivoted to my left as he moved towards me and got off the first shot, managing by chance to almost frame his name above him.  Then I slowed and moved together with him, chasing to frame center this time just as he looked away.  When he turned back I knew I had the image.  He smiled and I walked on–happy to take a coffee and rest my feet.  

Gentle Monster, shot on my Leica M7 at 35mm on Kodak Tri-X pushed to 800 at the Icon.     

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