Flickr a Week 12a: ‘The Starting Grid’

Vroom, the race is on, in self-titled “The Starting Grid“, which Dennis Freeland captured on July 13, 2016, using Olympus OM-D E-M10. Vitals (incomplete): ISO 1250, 1/1600 sec. “If my time comes for a scooter, I will have a camera built in”, he chimes. Sentiment I share, if, and hopefully never.

The street shot is a no-brainer choice for our Sunday spot. This is a moment that could only work in black and white; colors would distract from the three gents. I got to ask about the last: Why is he considerably younger? His presence gives more sense of a race than would a trio of geezers riding about. Why does the lead rider look so miserable? The answer to these and other questions is the kind of storytelling that this series seeks to spotlight with each and every selection.

From London, Dennis says that his “main emphasis is street and candid [photography], mainly in Brighton, Hastings, and Eastbourne—plus a sprinkling of local landscapes for a bit of variety”. Unfortunately, he hasn’t posted new images to Flickr since Spring 2017. He joined June 2009.

Postscript: I prepared the first 13 weeks of posts in advance—this one on February 10. Six weeks ago, Novel Coronavirus—the next day officially designated COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—was largely confined to China, which underwent a massive quarantine to slow spread of the highly infectious contagion.  Fast-forward and currently, the number of identified infected exceeds 267,000 in 184 countries, with 11,000 confirmed, direct deaths.

People with existing health conditions, or of elderly age, are most susceptible to complications leading to ICU-hospitalization or death. Like the men in this street shot, which in changed context is, at least for this series, racing for their lives—for survival.

Photo Credit: Dennis Freeland