The 4am Project seemed like an interesting idea. People around the globe going out at four in the morning–their time–taking pictures, posting them on Flickr, and in the end, giving us all an interesting look at the world at a time when everyone is typically asleep.
I’m willing to bet that my 4am Project had a lot more excitement than yours…
What started as me going to take pictures of an empty South Beach quickly turned into me swerving through traffic while being chased by a guy in a red pick-up truck. What? Your night didn’t involve any scenes from The Bourne Identity? Rookie. I’ll spare you the long version of the story (mostly because I’m already tired of hearing myself talk about it) and just say that it involved sharp turns, screeching tires, a frantic 911 call and a shit-ton of cop cars coming to my rescue. I had really only seen stuff like that in the movies.
Well, until four o’clock this morning…
Somehow, though, with my hands still trembling for the remainder of the night, I managed to hold the camera steady enough to get some decent shots. I couldn’t tell you how I did it, though. In all honesty, I was fully prepared to call this set of photos the Michael J. Fox Series. (I’m going to hell. I know.)
I also met a really nice photographer/ex-Marine on the beach who taught me some lighting tricks and gave me this piece of advice about my camera:
“You’re holding a weapon. I watch everybody around me this time o’ night. If anyone comes after me, I won’t hesitate to hit them in the head with this. $800 or your life?”
I’ve met a lot of Marines and they’re all about as bat-shit insane as this guy. They’ll use a toothpick to slice your neck open if you give them enough reason. Really nice guys, though. Just a little nuts.
When all was said and done, I had spent about a half an hour taking pictures on South Beach. Not a very long time, but when half of your night is consumed by a crazy old man who chases you in his truck because he thinks you’re the paparazzi, 30 minutes isn’t too shabby.
At the end of the night, as I was leaving the parking garage, I pulled up to the lady in the booth and handed her my ticket.
“I almost died tonight,” I said to the woman.
“That’ll be $16,” she replied, clearly disinterested in my story.
My teachers always told me I’d be worthless, but they were wrong.
$16… that’s what my life is worth.
The rest of my 4am Project photos can be found on my Flickr page:
MY 4AM PROJECT
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