The Hiatus – Or How To Pass The Time Without Passing Out

DSC_6862Australia has a lot of hiatuses. No, I don’t mean those little cars from South Korea – I mean periods of waiting. Pauses that do not necessarily refresh.

We had one recently – the dead period between Christmas and New Years when some shops shut and some shops opened and you were not really certain whether you were going to have your garbage collected or your milk delivered or whether it would be the other way round. Some workers were working, some had left the town, some were wandering the streets trying to do business, and some were home drunk.

The people who never work – the idle rich and the idle poor – had no need to feel put out during this period – they got the same benefit or bane that was available the rest of the year and the only real difference was a few days of less traffic on the roads…and then an almighty rush back from the tourist resorts the day after the holiday ends. Oh, and they couldn’t buy postage stamps on the Monday after Boxing Day because it was the national holiday of Indolent Monday.

Perfect time for photography. In particular photography of closed shops. with no-one in car parks you got an unobstructed view of the frontispiece of many major retailers and could pick the best time of day for the lighting. You did not have to fight vertical shadows that obstructed features. I recommend taking multiple views and stitching together panoramas.

Once you had these panoramas you could print them out on a good quality inkjet paper with a adequate border around the image – about 3/8″ would do it.

Then a red or orange texta or chinagraph pencil and careful arrows pointing to features on the facia. Label some of them ” security ” and a couple “access -cut wires “. Then roll the paper and put a rubber band around it. When the shopping centre opens tomorrow, go in during the morning rush and leave the roll of paper near the main office. Someone will hand it in…

If your interest in photography is more people – oriented, you could have spent a good day at the local freeway standing on an overbridge taking pictures of cars with a telephoto lens. Pick ones that are obeying the law and driving safely. Print their picture with the numberplate displayed prominently and post them on Facebook with an Urgent! Have You Seen This Car? notice. Use several exclamation points and if your keyboard can do underlining that is a good feature. The pervasive nature of Facebook means that someone eventually will recognise the car and plate and put up their hand. When they do, give them a high five.

We sometimes forgot about pet photography during this period. Fido or Tabby had just as much right to be uncomfortable as the rest of our relatives and since most of the Santa hats will disappear during the year, why not take time out to put one on the pet and take an embarrassing picture.

If the weather was stinking hot – and it generally was in this week – you could get cool by going to your local air-conditioned camera shop and move through the aisles throughout the day. Try to turn each item over at least once and if there were any camera bags and cases with buckles that had not been opened or pouches that had not been pulled inside out you could do that. It would be hours before the staff worked up the courage or energy to tell you to piss off and by that time the sea breeze may have come in.


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