Photojournalism

SFMOMA Interior

SFMOMA Interior / © neo serafimidis 2011

It was a weekend of photojournalism.

Yesterday, I managed to get to SFMOMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson show just before it closes. It was fabulous. I was familiar with a little of his his early stuff, such as ‘Behind Saint Lazare Station, Paris, France’ but really did not know the range and depth of his work. And I was surprised by some images that I had seen before, but did’t know were his, for example, portraits of Sartre and Camus. It was a tremendously inspiring show.

Then I had my own brush with photojournalism this afternoon. I had picked up my mother from her facility and was bringing her to my house for our usual weekend time together. As I pulled out onto San Pablo Ave, the traffic was getting backed up. The reason was that right at the bottom of my street at San Pablo, there was some sort of traffic accident. The police were there but the paramedics were only just coming up behind me.

Pedestrian Hit

Pedestrian Hit / © neo serafimidis 2011

After the fire engine passed, I ducked down a side street and parked. I asked my mother to stay in the car and grabbed my camera. This was a little bit dicey because of her dementia, but she is doing ok lately, and really can’t move fast enough to get very far very fast these days. And I intended to be quick about it.

As I got to the end of the block I could see that they were working on someone lying in the street next to a stopped vehicle. A pedestrian had been hit by car, probably turning left onto San Pablo at this T intersection. I quickly snapped a few shots and ran back to the car. I could see that the person on the ground was able to move a hand, but they were totally facedown on the asphalt.

After getting home, I got my mom settled with some  food and drink and got online to post a breaking story–just what I saw–to the local news site I shoot for occasionally, albany.patch.com. Before long, our awesome editor got the rest of the story from Albany PD and updated it.

My photo results are obviously not to be mentioned in the same breath as Cartier-Bresson. But the lesson of being always ready with camera as one moves through the world, as he was, was reinforced today.