Often, I operate with a sleep deficit. I should stay in bed on the weekend to catch up a little. But it’s also the perfect time to get out and take these kinds of photos. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I die.
Maybe it’s of all the lights, or the mass of humanity, or the scale of it all. Whatever it is, I’m in not much use until I snap out of its initial spell. Perhaps there’s some part of our DNA that attracts us to a hive or colony or tribe. Or maybe, it just all the cool lights.
We were standing outside in Vatican City when it started rain like cats and dogs. We wanted to see the basilica but that meant waiting in line for over an hour under an umbrella. So, as the rain wasn’t stopping we decided to hail a cab and head over to Rome’s shopping district. I have no idea where the “shopping district” is, but this is from there.
I’d recently been out taking photos in the rain in New York City. Doing it again in Rome felt a little familiar and I was glad I carried a plastic bag to keep my camera dry. I know this doesn’t sound fun, but I like these kinds of rainy day urban photos and I can’t help but get a little carried away.
It was one of the last days of summer holidays for Italians so the streets were already empty. Add to that the unexpected rain and the shopkeepers were standing around looking bored with nothing to do.
I took a bunch of photos there and ran for cover when the rain got too heavy. Sometimes we ran into a shop, other times it was an amazing cathedral, there are so many in Rome. Regardless, it was a much better way to spend the afternoon than standing in line under an umbrella.
This picture makes me think of the fine line we walk every day. It might even be a metaphor for how we are evolving. We can be filled with distractions so that we miss what is around us. Constant thoughts, reminders, threads of conversations, it can be hard to disconnect. This kind of challenge will only continue to grow.
I think we are morphing into another type of human. In a hundred years we will be even more merged with our technology and a global source of knowledge. The question is, how will we change? I’m not worried, eventually we’ll do the right thing. We’ll evolve and make good decisions. I believe that.
In the mean time we will walk along the shore and share the experience with our friends thousands of miles away. We’ll surf our twitter feed even as the surf is pounding at our feet. We will walk a fine line, but in the end we will get it right.
These thoughts are not about photography per se, but , through photography I am thinking them. By creating this image it leads to an idea and that is the enjoyment I get out of it. One thing leads to another and before you know it I’m predicting the future of humanity. Such are the wanderings of my mind.
In Amsterdam there are bike roads constructed everywhere. I’m not even sure they should be considered lanes because in many cases they are roads in their own right. The first thing I learned when I came here was that they are not for pedestrians. It only took one time. The same thing happened to me in Vancouver once. It must be a common mistake for foreigners.
Quite often you’ll see passengers sitting sideways on the rack. The racks on these bikes are sturdy and people carry everything on them. While walking in the morning I saw parents carrying their kids to school. It’s no wonder the bicycle culture is passed from one generation to the next.
Bikes are parked everywhere but the highest concentrations are around train stations. At some stations its the only form of parking. There are tens of thousands parked in massive multi-level lots.
Bike mechanics thrive here, bike shops are more common than cheese shops. However people are resourceful and I saw riders jump off to quickly fix a slipped chain or flat tire. It appears that most people know the basics out of necessity.