fire escape

Fire Escape black & white in St. Petersburg Florida

Signs of the city, fire escapes -- Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 1/100th ISO 200Fire escapes clinging to the sides of buildings both tall and short always remind me of city life for some reason, in particular New York City.  As the above shot was made right here in St. Petersburg, Florida, fire escapes are not exclusively found in big cities.  I have never actually even been on a fire escape, but when I see them I always imagine making a narrow escape from a sticky situation, or covertly gaining access to a rooftop.

Photo Story: Saint Petersburg Alley in Sepia

With this shot I was trying for a repeated pattern image.It had been a long time since I just went out shooting for myself.  Not for a client, not for the HDR gallery project I am participating in, just for me and it was 20 minutes of pure escape.  Now you may be looking at these shots and thinking, "dude, this is what you photograph with your rare free time to shoot on your own?"  Well, I had seen this particular alley months ago and made a strong mental note to photograph it.  Something about the idea of photographing this alley long had me excited.  

So today with my Nikon D300 and Nikkor AF-S 105mm VR micro F2.8G lens I made the time to do some exploratory photography, as I like to call it.  No doubt I looked mental to any passersby as I stepped in and around trash pointing a camera of not insignificant size at relative junk and decay.  If they could only read my mind they would have known I couldn't have been more stoked.  I was full of the thrill of potential discovery.  Who knows what I might find here in this alley?  That unknown always gets my heightened interest.  

 I dream of doing acrobatics on a fire escape, often.

In reality, the alley was not filled with many hidden treasures, but it was graced with a high concentration of human waste, in multiple states of matter.  One thing that attracts me to alleys is the behind the scenes nature of them.  On the other side of the buildings are the facades, what the masses idle to and before.  On the flip side of those buildings, the real side, is where people live and die.  Workers toil and nothing ever gets polished.  I have no interest in facades.

The bicycle, an elemental mode of transportation.

The above bicycle was the object of greatest monetary value in the alley.  While locked up, like any sentient being, does a bicycle too dream of Freedom--greatest of all things in the known Universe, far greater than Love.  

A questionable means of security.For myself, I felt great Freedom making photographs in this alley.  There are more mysteries there still, like what is behind this rusted padlock?  I'd rather never know because a well-fueled imagination is the only thing that helps keep me sane as the forces that attempt to limit mine own Freedom reach for me.