Early Spring On South Harrison Street • Easton Maryland
"Why in the world are you going to Easton Maryland today?" The intonation in the sound of my friend's voice blaring from the speaker of my iPhone suggested they felt that I was being more than a little crazy to be doing so today. Their call came at a most inopportune time for I was already busy double checking my camera bag to make sure that I had everything for my trip, responding to an email from someone wanting to purchase a photograph of mine as I was reading an article on low light photography. I abhor multitasking and avoid it like previously frozen Indonesian crab meat whenever I can for that term is nothing more than an euphemism for working in a distracted manner yet I found myself doing so because I was anxious to leave but was also determined to finish up what I had already started that day.
Having sent the email, closed up my camera bag and given up on finishing the article that I had been reading my attention turned to my friends previous question, who by the way had been rambling on from the speaker phone about how I waste so much of my time on trips like the one I was about to go on. While I certainly knew before making my plans for today that things like the foliage and background colors would be more late Winter like than those of Springtime therefore this was not going to be a photo taking trip. As I began to explain to my friend how that it's a good thing to make observations along with reorienting oneself to a venue before taking that first photograph of a new season they scoffed at me saying that especially in "small towns things seldom change."
It was that last comment that caused me to launch off on a verbal diatribe to contest that seemingly dogmatic statement of theirs. "Not true I replied for things do change from a visual standpoint even in small towns." I cited as an example of how new shops and cafes tend to open before the start of the tourist season which in turn contribute to changes in a particular streetscape. Restaurants regularly close and then reopen under another name featuring new cuisine for its the nature of the business. Residences and buildings get painted - perhaps in a different color, an addition may have been completed and yards are often landscaped for Spring. Then of course there are Bed & Breakfasts or Inns that have been converted - usually for economic reasons, back into a single family residence, professional offices or perhaps an art gallery. Finally there are the boutiques and antique shops whose existences are often measured in mere seasons. I have seen these types of changes occur in my years of taking photographs in towns all over Maryland's Chesapeake Bay region. Pausing to catch my breath after having confidently made my case for today's trip my friend quickly interjected that it is still a crazy thing for me to do and that my time is too valuable to be wasting it on a trip like the one I was about to take. Ending our conversation by agreeing to disagree we both said good bye and I set off on my Sunday afternoon drive to the shore.
Driving along Route 50 towards Easton I found myself thinking about that earlier phone conversation and also of the more practical reasons why I feel that these photo-less trips are so necessary. First of all they provide me with an opportunity to take a fresh look at an area without the pressure of having to take any photographs. It allows me to plan future photo sessions including identifying the better vantage points from which to take my photographs. Finally these outings often include practice photo shoots that tend to confirm any of my current and or past observations that I have made concerning a specific venue or scene. Yes I strongly felt that these visits serve a necessary purpose that ultimately lead to more creative and well received photographs on my part.
After having arrived in town I began to walk the streets of Easton on that pleasant Sunday afternoon which in turn began to bring back recollections from my previous visits here including a number of missed opportunities that I had committed myself to not forget on my next visit. For the most part yes Easton had changed very little since my last visit back in the Fall but my time spent here walking past the gardens that will soon debut their Spring hues, observing the 19th century streetscapes and paying close attention to the area's architectural scenery was certainly well worth it. I now find myself looking forward to returning here over the next three or four weeks or so and also to a more creative as well as an enjoyable experience of taking pictures in Historic Easton Maryland.
As I packed up the car and prepared to leave I thought to myself no my friend I am afraid that you were wrong in your well intentioned sage advice to me earlier for this was a very prudent use of my time.
G J Gibson
Gallery Note: currently the photographs featured on this journal post are not on display in the gallery
Image and Article Copyright © 2014 G J Gibson Photography LLC