So I was up the street from this shot, ground level, shooting a thin brick hallway that I’ve always wanted to shoot at night. In fact my plan was to shoot only that and head home to actually get to bed at a decent hour for once in the last 20 years. While shooting the hallway, a couple of cooks came out of a door directly into my shot. Thankfully they didn’t mind ruining my shot and felt the need to talk to me about photography and a class one of them had taken. Sure, I was a little pissed about the time being taken away from getting my shot, but as anyone who is passionate about photography, I ended up getting involved with talking to them and we shared a photography bond that made me feel all warm and squishy. They were nice enough to bring out some coffee, and 2 or 3 cups later they suggested I should shoot the fire escape on the back of the St. Michael Hotel out the back alleyway from where we were. I inquired as to how business was as they wouldn’t leave and let me get my shot, “Not great” came the reply from cook guy with a wool hat on a hot September night, “Yeah, it sucks”, added cook guy with not really any distinguishing features. I was shocked.
To make a long story longer, they did eventually run out of cigarettes and went back inside and I got my shot 30 seconds later(well, more like an hour later, but 30 seconds for the exposure).
Here is that photo.
I swear I was just going to fold up the tripod and head home to get to bed at a decent hour for the first time in 20 years. I swear. So, as long as I was just heading home, I could easily take the back route my 2 cook guys recommended and scope out that fire escape for another shoot at another time.
So, after stepping over a few puddles that I was pretty sure were not rain water(we haven’t had rain in a while), and was pretty sure that that’s where both cook guys would disappear to for a minute or so during our photography discussions, I finally arrived at the highly anticipated fire escape. It wasn’t much to look at, and I wasn’t thrilled with the available light. Then I made the mistake of looking up, there was a blue green widow with light coming through it way up toward the top. That wasn’t fair. How do I know the light in that window is going to be on when I come back to shoot the fire escape at another time because I have to go home to get to bed at a decent hour for the first time in 20 years? Fast forward another hour and I’m still struggling to get the right angle and not fall off the back rail while trying to get my tripod to balance on the grate without falling through. At this time I’m also really regretting the 3 cups of coffee and am considering taking a time out to visit the cook guy evacuation puddle up the street, but it looks like a random meth head is borrowing said puddle.
After finally getting a few shots I was happy with, I finally made my way back down the escape to go home and get to bed at a decent hour for the first time in 20 years. On the way back to my jeep I noticed an Awning over a coffee shop that appeared to be glowing, hanging off the side of a coffee shop. I figured as long as I was heading that way…..screw sleep, it’s over rated anyway…and there would be coffee, and a bathroom!
Prescott Arizona USA