Car Show Chit-chat
I confess to being a watcher (not the same as a voyeur). With a camera, as a documentary photographer, it's like a hybrid of a birdwatcher, a stalking hunter, and a sociologist. I'm always waiting for the pieces of a scene and its people to come together in a way that illustrates, even in some very subtle way, the human drama and experience. There are lots of near-misses, when you see something in your mind's eye but the paths of the people and events never cross or the timing isn't right or it just doesn't quite work. It can be extremely frustrating. I know a great many times people watch me and wonder "What is that idiot doing standing there staring?" I've become quite successful at ignoring it and don't care, but my wife hasn't gotten used to it and I think is sometimes embarrassed, so I work alone mostly or walk off on my own when we're together (because I always have a real camera with me, like an albatross around my neck).
I go where people gather, hoping for some magic. I've always wanted to take a summer and just roam from town to town shooting local car shows—there is nothing more American. While there is an overlap sometimes, mostly the people fall into gender roles: the men talk cars and the women hang out and patiently listen, or talk with the fellow "car widows." Some are truly interested in the cars and participate with them, for sure. I've been on the lookout for an intimate moment like this of women surrounded by the cars, talking as if in their kitchen, and the flamey pickup, the dog, and the flag were added bonuses. Quiet photo, but I really like it. A storytelling tableau. It is, in this case, a bit voyeuristic I confess, because I'd love to have a really nice hot rod!
(Tech note: I shoot these with the D800/810, a 36mp camera, because the detail in large prints is exquisite, almost as good as medium format. I often shoot a bit loose to get lots of information into the scene, knowing that a big the print will be rich with information).