ZEN AND SEX
It’s a beautiful sunset and I’m walking along the palm tree-lined ocean cliff park in Santa Monica, California. I’ve been coming here a lot lately and it has become my favorite spot to observe courting couples and photographically capture what I like to call, the look of love. Although we’ve all observed that moment of magical connection between two lovers at some time or another (and many will claim that they exchange that look with their loved one on a regular basis), in my experience, it’s quite rare. A definition does not do it justice (it’s a know it when you see it kind of thing) but it’s that look when two people gaze into each other’s eyes, which says, ‘I’m so deeply, joyously in love with you.’
I haven’t done an in-depth study, so I can’t quote percentages, age group breakdowns or demographics and what-not but suffice it to say, it seems that unwed, courting couples are the least self-conscious in public when it comes to unabashed, soulful eye-staring exchanges (often followed by a passionate or tender kiss or perhaps a little bit of tastefully-censored PDA, public display of affection). Come sunset in Santa Monica, Palisades Park attracts dating couples just like stores attract shoppers in the January sales; so much so, in fact, that a single guy all on his lonesome sticks out enough to warrant suspicion, as in: what on earth is this twenty-four-year old guy doing all alone sitting on a park bench, taking up space and preventing honorable, bona fide courting couples from sitting down to take in a romantic, breathless view of the glorious sunset and the majestic blue-green ocean? This is why I bring my camera with me… everywhere.
In the list (not that I really have a list) of what to bring with you to deflect other people from taking notice of your naked aloneness in a public space known to being frequented primarily by dating couples, a decent camera (not some cheapo, use once, throw-away camera, please) would be number two on the list, after a dog.
Walking a dog is hands down the best deflector of singlehood that a lone guy could imagine. In fact, not only does a single guy walking a dog not look lonely, miserable and out of place but he may actually attract attention – positive attention – if the dog is deemed cute enough. Unfortunately, the apartment I share with my roommate does not allow pets but I’m not too bummed about that as, realistically, unless the dog is tiny enough (and hence, automatically excluded as being a “man’s dog”), it becomes a problem when you want to take it to other dating couple-heavy locales like bars, restaurants, art galleries or movie theaters where generally they do not allow pets.
So, I’ll stick with my Cannon EOS Rebel T3 digital camera with the IS 2, 18-55mm lens which works great for long shots as well as those sweet, close up shots when I really want to capture that glint in those sparkly, love-filled eyes. As a photographer by trade, I do know a trick or two about getting the best angle, lighting and composition for a photo, even when using natural light in the field and whether the subjects are willing or not.
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Genre - Romance
Rating – PG13
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