Last weekend, I was looking for images of bliss for a Photography 101 assignment that I had skipped, in the promising environment of a thermal spa.
Glass, rain and reflection.
For once, the statistics on my running app read “zero altitude”.
Running on the beach is a completely different story. After a few kilometers on the seashore, with my shoes full of sand and my lungs full of iodine, I finally get to the pier and stop to take some pictures.
It’s a misty, cloudy day, but I don’t mind. I love the sea in winter, because it offers me a couple hours of a much needed solitude. The brightly coloured lightstructures and other details stand out by contrast against the naturally grayscaled seascape. The deserted Ferris wheel looks so out of place, but at the same time its iron frame matches the geometric, minimalist port architecture.
No place is better than a railway station when one is dealing with a photo assignment that is meant to capture movement.
Running along a stream makes the training seem easier. Also, the idea that I’m heading towards the sea kind of adds purpose to the act of moving for the sake of it.
I follow the sound of the water. I follow and flow, finding comfort in the white noise.
Add rain. Add sweat. And then a glimpse of the autumn sun on a clear, windy day reveals and flatters every detail with its crisp november light.
Here’s my attempt at day 2 of the Photography 101 course at WordPress. I know, it looks more like a landscape than street photography, as there were supposed to be people in it. The problem is, this is the recession, and it’s not my fault if half the offices and warehouses around my workplace have a “for sale” sign on them. Instead of a busy industrial estate buzzing with people at their work, this is what you get.
Don’t be fooled by the fancy sepia effect: I took this picture only 3 years ago. Those wagons were kept in some humid depot for several decades, and got rusty. Now they’ve been moved to a parking and wrapped in plastic tarpaulin, so that they can deteriorate even more. However, a couple of them has been restored. These relics means a lot to my fellow citizens.
There used to be a railway connecting the Banana Republic to Disco Beach and the rest of the world. It was in service for only twelve years before being wrecked by a heavy bombardment by the Allies who were chasing the Nazis along the gothic line, towards the end of World War II. Its final ride was in 1944 and carried refugees from Disco Beach and the surrounding area. They largely outnumbered the population, yet they were fed and accommodated in houses and train tunnels, where they waited for hell to break loose, crammed together with the locals. The naive inhabitants had even marked state borders and roofs with giant white crosses as a reminder of the country’s neutrality to be seen from above, but it was useless. About 200 civilians died in the bombings, but an amazing 100.000 refugees survived.
This is solidarity. This is what the generous Bananese did for the foreigners from a neighboring country. About 60 years later, as a sign of gratitude, the same country put the Republic under financial embargo. It’s good that the wagons are being kept for the future generations: it’s a remarkable reminder of how history teaches us nothing.