I hop out of my Kia gracefully. In my dreams, maybe. Since I had to wedge said Kia between two other vehicles in an under-sized parking spot in a chronically over-full parking lot, I actually edge out carefully, trying not to bang the adjacent SUV with my door and not to rub any (more) of the salt spray off my own vehicle onto my navy coat.
Ah, winter in Ottawa: my favourite.
This spot in the space-time continuum is where I would usually start the mental mutter about winter driving, all-season parking, and winter walking. Ice coats the sidewalk below the canopy overhang of this neighbourhood strip mall and I have visions of slip-slide-slamming into the curb headfirst.
But today, something stops me. “What?” you ask. “This,” I reply.
Indeed, it stops me cold. The blues of the sky, the sign, and the SUV itself. The lines, wavy and straight. Lovely.
I fish out my phone and take a photo quickly: Encounters with photo-subject drivers are always so awkward, explanations so tricky. (I need, like, a press credential to dangle around my neck.) I then complete my errand with no untoward slip-slide-slamming of head or any other body part, slightly distracted by wondering how to get a press badge but serene in the knowledge that I have a lovely photo.
Or not. Later that day my computer screen shows me what my sun-dappled phone screen did not: the dried salt spray on the SUV’s window. The spray my eyes did not see either.
Again and again the camera sees what my eye didn’t notice at the time. Sometimes I appreciate what it points out, like the detail of the hairy fuzz on the butterfly or the inadvertent face. Some I do not appreciate, like the power line running through a sunset photo of silhouetted conifers, or the dirt on a car window that spoils a reflection photo.
Well, live and learn, eh?
Not everything worth noticing is worth photographing.
Yup, that’s one possible lesson.
I need to start carrying glass cleaner in my car.
And that’s another.