Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting Into Photojournalist Mode

I arrived in Heathrow Airport early Monday morning a blogger.  I needed to start thinking as a photojournalist.  So, before I disembarked the plane, I took my camera, housed in a Tamrac shoulder bag, from the gym bag that was in overhead storage.  I had to be ready for any and all photo opportunities.  I was a blogger now.

I hadn't slept at all on the plane.  I watched one movie, several TV episodes and listened to music.  I must have been too stimulated to sleep.  After the plane landed and the signs were turned off, I stood in the aisle waiting to get into the new BA Terminal 5.  Years ago I watched an impressive TV commercial about this building.  The commercial had seals, rays, whales and bottlenose dolphins swimming in a water filled Terminal 5.  I thought, "It must really be impressive!"

I proceeded to the end of the aisle where the flight attendants stopped me.  The door was open and sunlight was streaming into the fuselage.  "Direct sunlight into the fuselage?", I thought.  Once given the all clear to advance I realized why.  We disembarked the plane via open stairs to the outdoors.  Stairs?!  Outdoors?!  The last time I disembarked outdoors was in 1977 when the frozen finger at JFK was unable to connect to the plane.  We had to use the inflatable escape chutes and slid to the snow and ice covered Tarmac.  That was the coldest winter I remember.  I swear the temperature went down below freezing at Halloween and didn't go above freezing until Easter.  That was over thirty years ago!  I was amazed that we were disembarking outside, down open stairs to an awaiting bus in the year 2011.  This is a new terminal!  It was opened to the public in 2008.  Three years ago!  Nonetheless, I descended the stairs and got on the bus, put down my bags, leaned against the padded wall and prepared for the ride to Terminal 5.

I told myself I had to realize I was in a foreign country.  They drive on the other side of the road.  They have a queen.  They speak a different language.  They have free healthcare.  They don't take care of their teeth.  I've got to relax, take it in stride, go with the flow.  When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  I enjoyed the ride.
Inside Terminal 5
After a short walk in Terminal 5, I found myself in line for border processing.  It was at this point I began thinking as a photojournalist; being a blogger and all.  I took my camera from the bag and started to capture some photographic images.  Unlike a paparazzo, I had an insecure feeling.  A feeling I wasn't allowed to be photographing in the border crossing area.  As soon as I had an image on the digital card, I put the camera back in the bag.  Because I was insecure, I missed some photo opportunities.  I wasn't thinking like a photojournalist 100% of the time.  I was trying to get my head into gear but I missed a few shifts.  As a matter of fact, I still find myself missing opportunities.  I often forget to carry my camera.  I forget to jot down notes.  I forget.  I forget quite a bit.

Once in my daughter's cozy apartment and not needing the flash equipment until the wedding reception in Grimsby on Saturday, I placed the gym bag with the Sunpak 611 system out of the way on top of a wardrobe of our rear bedroom.  It was off the floor and out of sight.  All I really needed in London was the camera; the camera and to think like a photojournalist.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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