Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia
Candid Street Photography
Take a tour
To each his own
A street performer checks out his hat in the two way mirrored glass before calling attention to himself;
a man rests his chin in his hand, thinking on his poor choice of shoes for winter in Melbourne – “Man… I wish I’d turned the light on this morning when I got dressed”;
a woman covets his thongs, considers stealing his water bottle;
a quiet woman hunches forward over her mobile phone to make an appointment she will regret;
a boy leaps down the terraced steps with glee;
a girl calls out to him and runs to hide;
a couple holds hands not realizing their affair has been caught by a lens;
a dancer, overwhelmed with the joy of movement, threads the crowd like a fleeing eel;
iPod music piped into the nostalgic ear of an old man transforms a Goth teenager into a goddess;
our thinker shifts his worries to the half empty water bottle and embraces one more regret – “I knew I should have bought the big one.”
the lonely are confused by a mixture of sadness and peace;
the harassed hope for some unholy accident;
the hen-pecked lag behind, drift sideways;
the shy risk a smile;
the idle loiter;
the never-satisfied continue their hunting;
every person has a story……
And below our line of sight, avoiding the careless feet of the crowd, a pigeon runs the gauntlet of the bottom step and plucks swiftly at the scattered crusts: “I wish they’d improve their diet, this white bread is killing me…”
All the time the crowd scans itself, preens, moves left, right, resists the urge to surge.
For one sweet moment, our street performer, in his white shirt, red baggies and dapper carny cap, will draw them to him, distracting them, transporting them along a brief trajectory different from yesterday or even tomorrow.
They will go with him long enough to forget their worries and wants, long enough to deflect, momentarily, the direction of their lives.
Hopefully, someone will experience a joy otherwise overlooked; and with an even greater fortune someone might avoid doing something they will regret forever.
Some will laugh out loud and clap their hands; others will use their hands to hide the flash of braces or the sunshine of an escaping grin.
The Square hasn’t been treating its street performers terribly well lately. The audience will not appreciate the abuse facing our busker, sweaty from juggling his long knives on a monocycle, taking his rich and earthy fumes home on a tightly packed tram.
The chaotic life of the plaza crowd: hurrying, pausing, stopping, seeking, listening, wondering, sighing, hesitating, doubting, resuming, lurching forward, and passing through.
It moves like a flock of starlings, swooping, veering, soaring beyond the camera frame; always moving on, to who-knows-where.
Another Sunday afternoon in Fed Square, alive and well – mostly.
Contributors: Linda Brammer; Robin King; Victoria McGuire; Georgie Hart:
Contributions from visiting bubblers are shown in italics
Last edited on 26/09/2010 to incorporate the voice of an overlooked pigeon by Georgie Hart
Bubblers visiting this page might like to attribute their own short fantasy to a member of our crowd (visible or otherwise). Place yourself in our crowd and imagine, fantasize; put it in a comment and I’ll blend it into the description