A Fleeting Moment

Empty streets, dim alleyways, turn of the century architecture, and the old soul of Providence is what I gravitate toward when setting out on foot with my camera. I usually start before dawn or at dusk. I love the stillness and emptiness I find. The busy hubbub and cacophony of the day, with the chaos of cars and people, is just a temporary overlay of life and activity that is like an ever changing theatrical play with the city as its stage. What I love to photograph is the stage, not the activity, the silent witness. And in this old city, I photograph what was, what is, and hopefully what will remain. 


On this brisk morning, I was in a particular alleyway downtown just after the morning light was breaking but the city was still dim. The alley was empty, the shops were closed, but the lights of the Christmas decorations remained on. I loved the emptiness. I stood at the head of the alleyway and composed my shot, but just as I was about to take the photo a car turned into the alley at the other end. I had to either take the photo quickly or wait for the car to pass through. But I noticed that as the car proceeded toward me its headlights were illuminating the curb and momentarily catching edges of the buildings as it traveled. I stood ready, holding my camera, waiting for my composition to catch this procession of light. I took a single shot just as the car was about to enter my frame, and for that fleeting moment the curb and edges of the building were lit with an exquisite golden glow. 

The car with its lights were a gift. It's what makes this shot. So theatrically lit, it would be difficult to duplicate. It was the only shot I got that morning during those hours spent roaming the streets. But I always feel fortunate if I can come away with at least one image for my portfolio. It was a successful day.