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Bench Sleepers

Sitting up while snoozing on and off – St Augustine, FL – June, 2017

Typically, early morning walks consist of traversing the neighborhood. I take my phone to have a camera with me at all times. Sometimes, I take my Nikon with a 55mm-300mm lens. It has a strap that easily allows the camera to hang around my neck without irritation while walking. The longer lens gives me the latitude to be further away from the subject matter.

Neighborhood walks often bring me face to face with turtles, deer, birds, and sunrises. Recently a hawk was sitting on the branch of a tree at the end of the sidewalk I was on. I took a photo with my phone but it’s tough to actually see it is a hawk. It was pretty cool to be in fairly close vicinity to a hawk, just the hawk, and me, at 6:00 a.m. I almost never see another human on neighborhood walks.

When we travel to cities going for early morning walks is a must. Early morning walks get the day started really well. They are energizing and often interesting. I see photographs in just about any environment I am in, especially in the early morning light.

Obviously, cities do not offer the same kind of wildlife my neighborhood offers. The city offerings are quite different than what I typically come across: interesting architecture and people from all walks of life. I take many photos on these walks. The most poignant ones are those of people sleeping on benches. They touch my heart in ways I cannot express.

The bench sleepers have faces but I have not seen them close up. The bench sleepers have names but I do not know them. They were not always bench sleepers. I will never know how they transitioned from sleeping in a bed to sleeping on a bench. Maybe some of them do not know how that happened to them. Maybe some remember it acutely but wish they didn’t.

City walks in the early morning, just like the neighborhood walks, I take my phone for it’s camera capability and my Nikon. The bench sleepers get my attention, time and again, because my heart aches for them.

The photos below were captured using both the phone camera and the Nikon:

St. Augustine, FL – June 2016

Washington, D.C. – September 2016

River Walk – Wilmington, NC – October 2016

Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. – May 2017

Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C. – May 2017

Outside of a Marina – St. Augustine, FL – June 2017

I wish for a day when benches in cities no longer hold sleepers because all the bench sleepers have beds with roofs over their heads.

River Walk, Wilmington, NC
Cape Fear River

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