I saw Mike and Victor (#3) climbing an archway wall beneath the metro bridge that runs past Newcastle’s Castle Keep and I decided this was too good an opportunity to continue this project (it’s been two weeks since my #1) and if I passed it up I might as well give up.
I checked my camera settings in an adjacent archway and “sized up” a couple of shots at which point I decided to switch from 50mm to 35mm – even so I wish I’d had my 18-200 (or even my 12-24) with me on this occasion but will probably continue to leave them at home on the assumption that my next encounter (hopefully not another 2 weeks) will be a more “standard” portrait.
I approached the two and asked if I could take their photos – both agreed before I had even explained the project or its purpose. They then quite happily got on with their activity and I snapped away trying to not get in the way – sincere apologies if I failed in this aspect. They explained that this was simply a training exercise and there are a few locations around Newcastle that they have used but obviously they would prefer to be doing this type of thing in the countryside.
I didn’t speak to Mike as much as Victor but he did talk about training mats and being able to fall happily from heights of 4-5 metres – yikes!!! He did fall off at one point (sorry Mike – I said I hadn’t photographed it, I didn’t say I wouldn’t mention it) and I’m sure you could easily get hurt if you fell from the top and landed awkwardly – but then you could say the same about many things we do every day without thought.
I found this a much more comfortable encounter than my #1 – probably because they were doing something quite unusual (once you take the location into account) and therefore there was an actual purpose to photographing them.
This picture is #2 in my 100 strangers project. Find out more about the project and see pictures taken by other photographers at the 100 Strangers Flickr Group page