The Story behind… “Days Gone By”
Early spring of 2005, a time of year when the fog rolls in from the Pacific, through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and down the Puget Sound. I have this internal clock that gets me up no matter what day of the week it is. On this particular morning, I woke up earlier than most and happened to look outside. The street light across from the house on 9th Ave NW was barely noticeable because of the fog. I ran to the closet grabbed my old army-surplus jacket, hat, camera bag that I always kept in the ready and the foam gripped tripod that sat next to it. Left a note and head out the door. The time was 5am and I wanted to get down town as quickly as possible, should the fog dissipate or roll back out to sea.
I made my way from Greenwood, down 15th, across the Ballard Bridge, past the Pike Place Market, a right on First Street and parked the car close to Pioneer Square. It was early; the streets void people and traffic, and cold. I was glad to have brought my jacket with me. I set up the tripod and got to work; when a man, seemingly homeless approached me.
At the time I was using a Nikon camera and film; had not yet made the switch to digital. As the man walked away I took his picture. At 5:30am it was still dark and the exposure had to be set for several seconds to compensate for the lack of ISO. There are two images of the man in the picture; the first when the shutter opened and the second when it closed; you get that effect from the old film cameras, which I then digitized and used Photoshop to manipulate the colors and effect. As I worked with the image I began to think about the man I had met and the events that had transpired on that cold Saturday morning. Over time and many irritations later, the poem appeared.