TITLE: “LOST SHOES, Edit C”
Creation Year: 2008
Original Photograph: 2000
Camera: NIKON F90X
Film: KONICA CENTURIA 200 ASA
Time of Day: Mid-Day, High Sun – Harsh Lighting.
Scanner: UMAX ASTRA 5600
There’s an interesting story behind the photograph, “LOST SHOES, Edit C,” at least I think so, because I experienced it; and in addition to that, I learned that some bad situations offer good opportunities…for photography at least.
In the year 2000, I went on a very long bus ride to Kelantan, a state in Malaysia that borders Thailand. It was like a 10-hour trip…Did I mentioned that it was quite a long, long bus ride! I had never been to Kelantan before, but welcomed the opportunity. I was the semi-official photographer for the Penang Bola (Soccer) Club on this trip. I thought that I could also work on some cultural photographs while in Kelantan: The trip was a win-win situation! ;^)
About 6-hours into the bus ride, the tour bus starts chugging up the hill, hot steam and black smoke coming out of every orifice that a bus has, and it basically dies, right there, in the middle of Nowhere, Kelantan!
It’s mid-day, hot like crazy, no-one around, and the nearest bathroom, more like an ancient outhouse, was the only facilities available anywhere near to the breakdown site.
We were going to be there awhile…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick tock…2-Hours Later! It was that kind of a wait. I was bored…I wanted to use my time properly and find a subject to photograph to commemorate the breakdown. The only touristy thing to do was visit the outhouse, and that was checked off my list of things to do in Nowhere, Kelantan. What else?
The scorching sun had dried up the red clay that flanked both sides of the two lane highway. And, there wasn’t much in the way of subject matter to hold my attention, that was, until I noticed these two shoes. The shoes were just sitting there in the hot clay…teenager’s basketball shoes, but there were no kids around. It’s almost like the person got plucked right out of the shoes, and the shoes were left behind.
The shoes had been abandoned, they were LOST! I was starting to put a connection between the LOST SHOES, and the poor broken down bus. Maybe, that spot was some sort of mysterious zone where things go wrong, haywire, lost, and just stop working and are abandoned. Don’t know….it was a mystery. I didn’t bring my CSI kit with me to do a thorough going over, but I definitely smelled a mystery brewing.
At least my camera was still functioning, and I got a shot to celebrate the experience of the broken down bus and my long journey to Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Remember to keep your eyes open for interesting subjects, especially when you find yourself lost, in a bad situation, or even stuck out in nowhere, and waiting for a bus to be fixed! What you find may amaze you.