I've been waiting for a chance to drive by this building on a grey day. My first attempt was on a sunny day, and I didn't like the stark shadows created by the gate on the left.
Colorful storage bins at my son's preschool.
I may have had a bit of a breakthrough today. When I walked into the lobby of the post office today, the only person in sight was a man absorbed in preparing his packages. So I took a minute to snap a few shots. Then my daughter and I went up to the empty counter with our own package to mail. I looked around for a bell to ring, but a postal worker appeared from around a corner a moment later. She seemed a little grumpy, though I didn't really think anything of it until she asked what I was taking pictures of before I came up to the counter. I was taken off guard as I didn't realize anyone could see me, and I stammered out the first words that came to mind. "I'm doing a photo-a-day project, with blue as the focus." Her entire demeanor changed in an instant. Suddenly she was friendly, relaxed, interested. We talked a little about some of the other photo subjects, sources of inspiration, the many shades of blue in the world.
As I left the building, I thought about what her reaction means. Rather than feeling nervous that those around me won't want to get involved in my project, I may be able to use it as a tool for reaching out to others. My husband and I talked just last night about taking pictures in public places, a subject with a lot of grey area for me. Where is the line between "public" and "private," and who "owns" the scene? I worry quite a bit that I am invading other's privacy with my camera, but perhaps all that is needed is to first fill them in a little on my project.
This all relates back to my performance anxiety about taking pictures. The conversation with the postal worker today helped me break down that anxiety into some of its components, and to see the issue from a different angle. As I walked out of the post office and saw this bike chained to a sign post out front, I worried a little less about whether the owner of the bicycle was within viewing distance of the scene, and a little more about how best to capture their beautiful blue bike in this particular moment.