I lived in New York City (Queens) for a little over a year, beginning in 1977. I’ve been back too many times to count, both for business and pleasure, and one thing remains true: “if you think it would make a good photo, push the button.” You might end up with a “what was he going for?” Kodak Moment, but at least you won’t be kicking yourself over the opportunity you just lost.
I was thinking about this rule as I walked around New York back in November. I arrived at Grand Central Station on Tuesday morning and I returned home Thursday around lunch time. Ample time to collect a few door photos, one would think. However, I violated the above stated rule and I missed a great opportunity.
After leaving Grand Central, I was heading north on Vanderbilt Avenue. I saw a wonderful door on the building just west of the station. I was dragging a suitcase, and I thought: “I need to make sure I return to this street later.” Later, when I returned, the building was hidden by box trucks making deliveries.
At least I remembered my lesson early. Below is a short list of reasons you might not want to release the shutter in New York (or any city) and the reason you should just push the button:
There are people in the entrance, on the stairs, near the door – There are ten million more people where they came from! The next people might be part of a tour group, or they might be delivering a sofa, or they might stand in front of the door while they are waiting for someone to sign for a package.
The only clear shot through the traffic has me reflected in the door – So what, you’re pretty good looking. Besides, your readers might want to get a glimpse of you.
I’ll get that shot when I’m on my way back – No you won’t! You won’t come back this way because New York is best walked in opportunistic fashion. That means, as long as you still have blocks to go in both ways, you always cross with the existing light. If you get three straight walk lights while going north on Fifth Avenue, you’re going to miss that door that was on 42nd Street.
There’s a (whatever) in the way – Decide now if that shot would look better if you crossed the street. If the answer is yes, cross the street. Cross now (it’s often safer than crossing at the corner) take the shot and move on.
There’s a sign on the door – Since Norm remains steadfast in his reluctance to post bail for us, take the shot. If the sign is that bad, look at it as an opportunity to learn how to use Adobe’s healing brush.
The door is open – There’s a better than 50% chance that it either won’t be closed for a long time, or that when it is closed, they will also close a gate in front of it. This is particularly true of church doors.
I’m not sure it’s that interesting of a door – Have you ever seen a door like that in your town? It’s not like you’re shooting film, paying to have it developed and printed. Take the shot.
It’s an OK door, but it’s not much of a building – Today, it’s not much of a building today. For all you know, this is where someone famous lived, was shot, shot somebody else or died. The building could have all kinds of historic significance, or it might just be a building that hasn’t been torn down yet.
That’s not a door, it’s a crane – Take the shot. Dan will like that photo!
There are many such rules, but you get the picture. Well, you do if you take the picture…
Welcome back to a new year of Thursday Doors. Thanks to our host and inspiration, Norm Frampton, we have a wonderful eVenue in which to share our favorite doors. If you love doors, visit Norm’s site to look at his doors. From there, you can enter the gallery to see everyone else’s doors.
Note: If you are sharing doors this week, please click on the blue frog near the bottom of Norm’s page and add your link to the list. You only have to add the URL from your blog, your name and your email (and only Norm can see your email). Then your doors will be seen by all the other visitors.