There is a dilemma with "find a stage and wait for the actors to arrive," the technique I introduced in the previous "Photo of the Week."
How long do we wait?
If we leave too soon, we risk missing a great shot. If we stay too long, we waste time, come away with nothing and possibly miss a great scene that happened just around the corner.
Unsure how to decide, I once asked my former mentor, Arthur Meyerson, "How long should I wait?" -- fully expecting him to respond with "Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids!" To my surprise and delight, Arthur not only answered the question but furnished a solution that has served me well for over three years.
He said "You wait until you can leave with no regrets." Before that point in time, you'll be looking over your shoulders and wondering "what if?" After that point, it's OK to leave. This may sound vague but I always know when I've reached that point. The better the "stage" and the more likely a great "actor" will arrive, the longer I'll wait.
The most compelling collection of "stages" in Boston is at the Christian Science Plaza on Massachusetts Ave. I have spent many, many hours there waiting for my "actors" to pass by the geometric stone walls, 670-foot-long reflecting pool, children's fountain, arched colonnade, flower gardens and long, parallel rows of trees. The plaza is often full of tourists, joggers, workers, nuns and children.
The skate-boarder in this week's photo is from my "Mass Ave" series. It was my reward for sitting on a chilly concrete wall for 30 minutes. In that cornucopia of "stages" and "actors", I would have stayed much longer!