Hot In The Shade

Hot In The Shade

Another weekend of winter weather has kept me inside and off of the streets. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a perfect opportunity to review older images. Ones that I decided to let “marinate”. Ones that I wasn’t quite sure of.

When I say “not quite sure of”, bells immediately start ringing. If I wasn’t sure of the image then, why keep it? It must surely be no good! That’s not always the case. Sometimes an image gets sort of “lost” when reviewing, editing our organizing a day’s work. I know personally, I get so drunk on pictures that my judgement becomes clouded. Is it a keeper or not? It’s not always an easy decision. We each have our own guidelines on what determines “keeper” status. Those guidelines are subjective and always changing. Our tastes are always changing and our opinions are as well.

I’m glad I kept this image. It didn’t scream at me when I first reviewed that day’s shots, but it leapt out at me when I went back to that folder six months later. It was last August on City Island in Harrisburg, PA and it was hot! Jungle hot. The temperature was in the high 80’s and the humidity at 100%. I was making my way to a water vendor when I spotted this gentleman off the road, sitting in the shade of the trees and smoking a cigarette. I watched him fire a few seconds. He’d take a drag and then just stare at the cherry on the cigarette. A few seconds longer, he repeated the action. I lunged up the shot before he took another drag. I snapped, he didn’t notice and he repeated the drag and stare. In retrospect, it was an oddly serene and peaceful scene. It just needed to “soak” for a while.

"Hot in the shade" by Andrew Sweigart


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