"In answer, my friend gently reflects, 'I doubt it. There's never two of anything.'" from Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory.
Sometimes I think of it as a vibe. Sometimes I think of it as a gut feeling. Other times it feels like some sort of secret vein. And sometimes I think of it as the universe tugging at my shirttail. No matter what "it" is called, I need to listen to it.
That is why I schlep cameras with me almost everywhere I go. I can never know when "it" will say, "Take that photograph. Take it now." Some of my best work has been a spontaneous, serendipitous convergence of a bagful of cameras, an openness, and good ole fashioned luck. Chance does indeed favor the prepared photographer.
That's what happened the first time I photographed this juggler. I had a few minutes to kill before a meeting, so I drove around some side streets. I noticed the juggler and drove on toward the Starbucks sign beckoning in the next block. But a niggling thought kept saying, "Go back." I had just that morning loaded up my go-to Holga with a fresh roll, so I turned the car around, found a parking spot right in front of the statue, and shot an entire roll with no one to disturb me. My pick from that shoot adorns the first page of my website.
I took this shot a few weeks later. I was in the neighborhood again. This time, a freak snow storm had just begun. I hopped out and took a few new shots. I'm not sure this one is any better than the first. It's not worse. It does not have the same personal "vibe" this time around. If anything, it suffers from what I call the Bionic Woman syndrome. That is, I can make it better. I have the technology.
That may be, but returning to the scene is not the same as returning to that same moment. There's never two of anything.