Nailing a Good Photo

09 Aug 2009
August 9, 2009
My fellow commuter on the subway

My fellow commuter. Click on image for a larger view.

It had been a long week. I’d just completed two days of teaching teachers how to podcast: a rewarding activity that reminded me of my years in the classroom. But teachers know teaching is exhausting. And teaching technology is even more so. You closely examine your students’ faces, ferreting out those who get it and those who are lost. To bridge those techno-fears I succumb to using humor to push on through. By the end of the session I surveyed the room, happy to see their relaxed faces. But I had lost my voice in the process.

So, on Friday morning, knowing that my instruction had ended and I could tie up my regular loose ends before the weekend, I was in an easygoing mood on my commute into work.

As we pulled into Union Station I noticed the woman sitting next to me. My, what long red fingers you have, I thought. If I could get a good pic of those nails holding your book’s pages at bay I’d start the day feeling creative. Should I ask you first? An age-old question. If I did your body language would surely change and that special relationship between your nails and the book would be lost. Yet, I’ve always felt a bit weird about being surreptitious. What if I got caught? What if she questioned what I was doing? So much the better I finally decided. The tension woke me up.

I pulled out my iPhone and nonchalantly aimed it her way. The man across the aisle was watching me. But my next door neighbor continued to read. When you work undercover the pressure’s on to get your shot quickly. But once I looked through the viewfinder I knew this: to get a good photo I would make myself take the extra second to compose it just right. Every extra second increased the chances of an engagement. But that’s all it took. I moved the camera a bit to the left.

I only took one shot. And I had gotten my voice back.

5 replies
  1. Howard says:

    Glad you got your groove back!

  2. Sassenach says:

    Somewhere, someone has posted a blog post about the perv he spotted taking pictures of a woman’s hand….. :-)

  3. Jeff says:

    Hehe. I can say without equivocation that fingernail fetishes are not one of my vices. Actually, I was more attracted to contrast between the bright red color against the warm white of the book page (the artist in me).
    Interestingly, yesterday, also on my commute into work, I spied this man and his chrome toenails. ;-)

  4. Connie says:

    I’d love to be able to see what the name of the book is.

  5. Jeff says:

    Connie, magnifying the original photo I can read the author is Ridley Pearson. The title of the book, though, is a bit more difficult to decipher. It’s two words and comparing what I see to a list of his books on Amazon, I believe she’s reading Killer Summer.

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