Pacing the sidewalks of an unfamiliar city almost always leaves it's own unique impression. In the case of Austin Texas, monochrome instantly found its way into my color profile before my finger touched the shutter release. The Texas sky, and neon lights of 6th street flared with familiar colors, but the texture and character of Austin, in my opinion, couldn't have been served better than by classic black and white.
A personal goal of mine has always been to remember peoples names. I have, however, failed again when it comes to this young man. My excuse seems to be that my attention was on my surroundings. My assumption that the prowlers of midnight Austin would be hesitant to have their picture taken, was shattered after meeting this bloke. As soon as he saw the camera, his immediate action was to pose with the sign he had chalked up, maybe just hours before. (I withhold any political opinion of my own bias). With hesitation, I jumped forward and snapped the Close Up above. A few words were exchanged as follows.
"Can you send me that photo?".
"Sure friend, here's my card".
"We'll get famous together dawg".
(I proceeded to retreat)
In my head, I repeatedly told myself to avoid an annoying post process, and limit the amount of photos I took. Once I had a few good selects, I proceeded back the the airb&b to join my fellow tourists for dinner. This is when things took an interesting and somber turn.
A homeless man huddled close to his belongings flinched from his position against the wall. I watched as he heaved and expelled his dinner onto the sidewalk. I simply gazed in surprise and waited from a distance. I couldn't help my curiosity. He began rolling around in a sudden fit, posing in different contorted positions. My morals couldn't succeed in convincing me to continue walking. This confused and desperate man was experiencing something of some proportion, and it begged to be recorded. Although unintentional, he was telling his story.
One event led to the next, and sure enough these men hoisted Mr. Anonymous into the back of their ambulance. It goes to show that these instances of pure somber can be witnessed by anyone. Maybe it's our duty as image takers to record, and share these human moments, whether pleasant or not. The censored lens may not lend itself to the truth.
I'll be posting a link to the Mozell Films Blog, showcasing the teams full photo portfolio from Austin, as well as our experience at Masters in Motion. Really excited for that and other things to come. Thanks for tuning in friends!
Joel Flora l Filmmaker