The Tyranny of Distance

The title for this post is not some profound thing I came up with to riff on, it is the title of an album by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists when I was trying to think of what this post will be about a song from that album, Dial Up, began playing on my computer. So viola a title, magic!


But maybe it is not so random after all. These photos are from July 4 in San Francisco, so it was freezing and cloudy. I met some friends but they got cold and left, which gave me an opportunity to wander and take photos, which I love doing, so a perfect afternoon. We are alone in a crowd of people unless we find a way to bridge that distance which keeps us all in our little bubbles.


Photography does offer me an opportunity to overcome this Tyranny of Distance (see I managed to work it in, although  a bit awkwardly) between me and the people I would otherwise never talk to. My kids ask me from time to time how I can walk up to strangers and make a photo of them, especially because I am otherwise shy. I don’t know, I think it has to do with my sense of purpose, I have a reason to make these photos, because it makes me happy, and the vast majority of people are happy to have someone talk to them.


Most people are really bored most of the time, so they look at their phones or do something to distract themselves. They almost always welcome someone talking to them for a little bit, and if they do not welcome that conversation and having someone take their photos, they will let you know right away.


It is easier when people have dogs, just start a conversation about the dog. But the conversation can be about anything really, I like to talk to people and they seem to like talking with me. It is just hard to get that conversation started sometimes.

But it is so worth it.


1 Comment

  1. Like the opportunity to travel- in a virtual way – along on your photo shoot adventures.

    Give my favorite twins a high five apiece and one for you too if there’s a way to overcome the logistical obstacles!

    Best thoughts to all and thanks for the pictures.


    Sent from my iPhone



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