Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Bus Yard

When was the last time you stood next to a school bus?

On certain weekdays in the summer I drop my kids off at a day camp. Right across the street is the county’s transit yard. I've driven by this yard many times. This particular time, I had my DSLR with me. I stood outside the fence and shot a few pictures, but it felt funny. I didn’t have permission and there was a big "No Trespassing" sign posted. Still I felt compelled to get in closer. After quite a bit of mental deliberation, I decided to go around and see if there was someone in the office I could talk to.

Two Ladies
There were two nice ladies there who referred me to their supervisor. After a few questions, he agreed and let me walk around and take some shots. Being the Friday afternoon before the 4th of July, the place was pretty empty.

Shiny and Clean!
Many of these busses were recently detailed. One in particular, Number 9, caught my eye. All of the rivets stood out and the clean black lines made for some interesting photos. Since it was midday, the side lighting was sparse and I had to rely on the reflected light from the adjacent bus.

Nice People
I spent about 40 minutes walking around, kneeling, checking exposure and sharpness of each capture. As I left, I passed back by the office where those two nice ladies took a genuine interest in what I was doing. “Will you post them?” “Where can I see them?” and “Do you have a card?” We talked for a while then I said “Goodbye and Thank You!”

Returning the kindness…
A few days later, I returned and dropped off a few 8x10 prints of the best 3 shots along with a business card. Neither of the two ladies was there at the time, so I handed the envelope to someone else and then disappeared around the corner to look at one of the workers in the wash bay.

I wasn’t there two minutes, when someone approached me and said “You took a wonderful picture of my bus! Its Number 9 and my name is Linda”. Speaking with her for a while, I could sense the pride she had in what she does and how important it is. She pointed out how there are steel reinforcements that form a cage to protect the children in the event of a crash. Linda has been responsible for the safety of thousands of children, moving them from point A to point B, day after day, with out incident. She should feel proud!

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