Thursday, February 19, 2009

Butterflies in Your Stomach

Ever get Butterflies in your stomach ? It happens to me all the time when I get really, really nervous. It used to be when I was a youngster (About half a century ago) and the teacher asked you to get up in front of the class and recite the Declaration of Independence, or something.

Now, it usually only happens right before I get arrested or almost apprehended, like today. And it happened a few months ago, too, so soon I should develop a tolerance for it, just like I did for History teachers. Either that, or quit doing stupid things that might get an innocent looking fellow like me get apprehended !

The end of the month is coming around real soon ( I know because my wife says PAYDAY is just around the corner because FEB is a short month) and writers have to meet deadlines and need the photos they're writing about, like YESTERDAY ! Well, my favorite writer because she speaks better English and Japanese than me, needs some Cherry Blossoms by an Elementary School photographed this week. Friday would've been a good time for her but not for me. So, the sun looked right for shooting this morning and I decided I'd go shoot and surprise her with a "Mission Accomplished" before the day was done.

When all my morning chores were done I grabbed a camera bag and tripod and walked to the school. Not wanting to disturb the people in the office, I spotted a Gym teacher taking a class out to the soccer field and asked if it was OK to shoot pictures of the Cherry Tree and got a Thumbs-Up .

Well, when I do a shoot like this I'm all over the place playing with light and camera settings, taking shots at every imaginable angle, looking for the best background and most importantly being real careful to NOT GET ANY KIDS in my pictures !

About half an hour into my work HERE COMES SECURITY !!! " Hey, this is a school NO CAMERAS ALLOWED " the guard yells as he rushes me waving his arms like an Olympic Swimmer. When I explained , in my Japanese as a fifth language, that I was doing the shoot for a story on Cherry Blossoms for a the English Teacher at the School and that I had asked the Gym Teacher out on the field for permission beforehand, the guard backed-off and let me continue. But, I saw him walking towards the office when he left me and that's when the Butterflies started. My instincts, from being a wildlife photographer, told me what to do next: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE !!!

Instead, I did the wise thing; shot from a few more angles, slowly working my way towards the gate. I even saw one of my Grandsons out on the grounds for recess. He barely said "Hi" to me. Either he knew I was working because he saw the camera and tripod or noticed the guilty expression on my face, or he just got asked to recite the Gettysburg Address and had Butterflies in his stomach, too !

Anyway, once I cleared the school grounds, I hurried across the street, stopped in a store for a quick coffee and once I was sure nobody was going to come after me, climbed a tower and looked back at the school and when I was sure all the Butterflies were gone; RAN LIKE HELL all the way home!
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