Shadows and legs

I made this image on a Sunday a while back.  AM and I had just picked up the girls in Century City and were headed to the Farmer’s Market in Beverly Hills for some fresh produce and then to the library so Ester could take-out a few books.  The library, police station, city hall and courthouse in Beverly Hills are all connected and part of this strange, deco inspired compound that sits right on the edge of Santa Monica Blvd, subdividing the shopping mecca of Rodeo and it’s associated side streets from the residential areas.  I’ve heard that the folks of BH were more than just a little inspired by the city hall in Pasadena which has got to be one of the most picturesque government buildings I have ever seen.  In fact it’s long overdo for a visit and shooting session.  Elliot loves to take the gold line so I guess I know what I’m doing next weekend.  

But I digress, after the famers market we cut through the parking lot and over to the library where the sun was shinning down through these open partitions in the corridor casting deep, lovely shadows all over the place.  The rest of the fam went inside while I stayed for a moment to take it in.  I loved how the shadows and light cut through the corridor, bifurcating the entire frame with concentric perfection.  All that was missing were my subjects.  Then I saw a pair of legs pop-out from seemingly nowhere, a few meters away towards the middle of the corridor.  I fumbled with my camera for only a second but as soon as I had it up to my eye the legs were gone, tucked behind a pillar.  So I waited.  

And waited and waited.  A woman came out the front door, rolling a large metal cart in front of her but still the legs didn’t reappear.  The woman passed where the legs had popped-out, made a straight line for the book drop, opened a compartment in the wall and started loading the cart with books but still no legs.  I was so focused on finding the legs that I didn’t notice a man exiting the library until he had blocked my view of the corridor.  I knew I was going to miss those damn legs.  I knew they were going to pop out again while this guy was blocking my view.  But they didn’t.  

The woman loading the cart must have loaded everything there was to load as she was now heading back towards me.  She passed the departing man and they didn’t share a glance.  I decided this was my image–the cart lady and her books in shadow with the man framed in a sunbeam, so I raised the camera, framed and clicked.  A few weeks later when the negatives had been processed and I was standing at the big light table at the Icon checking the negs with a loupe, I noticed something that made me smile.  There in my frame, off to the side were those damn legs.   

Shot on my Leica M7 using a 35 Summicron with an amber filter on Kodak Tri-X, pushed +1 at the Icon. 


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