…There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long

But now I think I’m able to carry on

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, Oh yes it will

Sam Cooke – A Change is Gonna Come

Seems like a very long time since I’ve written a post. Yes. It definitely has been, but as always, time keeps on slipping into the future. Given that, a lot has happened since my last ramblings…

Covid-19, the Ahmaud Arbery killing, Quarantine, the Breonna Taylor killing

100,000 dead in the US, the George Floyd killing

riots, protests

America woke

national unrest, international uproar

122,000 dead in the US

the lifting of Quarantine, the increase in the rate of US Covid-19

10.5 million confirmed Corona Virus cases worldwide

Yeah. That’s a helluva lot in a few months.

Beautiful People, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

With each event, our world pivoted a bit. Towards what? It’s hard to say…a worsening worldwide pandemic? Hopefully not. Racial equality and justice? Hopefully so.

Woman with Black Dog, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Yup. Time just keeps on slipping…towards change.

Within this post, I’d like to share images that I created in downtown LA the weekend before Quarantine was imposed. Just before the rate of change seemed to increase.

A Big BlackBag, a Smile, and a Skateboard, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

The unusual thing about most of these images is that you can see the faces, and more importantly, the smiles of the people that I encountered. Hmmm…It still feels a bit uncomfortable to accept that as “unusual”. But, an unintended consequence of the new normal – face masks in public – is that the warmth reflected in a person’s smile is difficult to discern. And, relative to street photography, let me debunk a myth here – NO! , you cannot see the smile in a stranger’s eyes…that glint could be a squint, hayfever, or insanity. Just sayin’. 😉

Out for a Stroll with Friends, DTLA,
©2020 Reginald Foster

While reviewing these images, I’m reminded of a few reasons I really enjoy street photography. Sometimes, it grants me the opportunity to connect- if ever so briefly- with another person. Sometimes, it allows me to break through social barriers. Yes, sometimes a photo leads to a smile. But, for sure, it can also be the start of dialogue and understanding between me and someone…sometimes. Of course, there are plenty of times when none of this happens, but that’s ok. When any one of them occurs, it’s always a welcomed surprise. And, hey, given our current social unrest & pandemic driven isolation, a little dialogue and understanding would go a long way.

Yeah. I’m sure you get it…I kinda’ miss seeing those smiles.

A Smile and an Armful of Flowers, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

So, I hope you enjoy checking out the images as much as I enjoyed making them. Drop me a line or two in the comments if you also miss receiving the gift of a smile or two from the people you meet on the street. Oh, and by the way…Stay Positive, Work for Change & Stay Safe!

A Doggy Smile (or Growl?), DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
Waiting in a Crooked Chair, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
The Cyclist, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster
Two Buds, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

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Churros and a Smile, DTLA, ©2020 Reginald Foster

Equipment Used

  • Leica M6
  • Leica 35 Summicron

Film Processing

  • Film: Kodak Portra 400
  • Processed with Cinestill C41 Developing Kit

© 2014-2020 Reginald Foster, All Rights Reserved. All Photos and text are the property of Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Reginald Foster is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Reginald Foster and PhotoFerret1.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


One thought on “ The Before… ”

  1. Great work as always Reg. The depth that the equipment combination you use really creates a beautiful product. I’m looking forward to your next project!

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