Garblog's Pages

Friday, April 20, 2012

Space shuttle serendipity : Jamie Todd Rubin

This article reminded me of a few lessons I've gotten in being observant--to benefit writing, photography and my safety.

First, though, Rubin, concludes his article after he and others watch a retired Space Shuttle fly over Washington, D.C.:
What was remarkable was that traffic on 395 had stopped. People had pulled over and gotten out of their cars to watch and take pictures. I’ve never seen anything quite like that before.
Second, when I was a daily newspaper reporter, one of our editors encouraged us to take different routes as we travel our news beats--instead of using the same streets at the same time day after day. Because we wouldn't be driving-by-rote, he said, we might see something unusual and newsworthy along the (new) way. Although I got out of the news biz years ago, I still follow that advice, for the potential fun of it if nothing else.

Third, I read in a photography book years ago (wish I could remember the title and author) to turn around and look behind me while taking pictures. The book said I might end up seeing something worth photographing that most other people don't see--because they're always walking forward, especially while sight-seeing. Similarly, crouch to a lower position to get a photographic angle that other photographers walking along a path might not notice.

And fourth, a version of the ideas above, when walking along a sidewalk to get somewhere, like to a restaurant for lunch or the doctor's office, just don't look or stare straight ahead until you have to cross a street. I see a lot of people doing that! Instead, take off the blinders and look around; it can make the walk--even a brief "journey" to an appointment--more fun and interesting. You might spot a long-lost friend  (as I've experienced). And you might spot, in advance, someone who's not intending to be friendly; fortunately, I haven't encountered that (at least that I know about).

The serendipity of such easy steps!


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