I’d walked through the town center alone, for once not even with the company of my trusty Canon which was away for servicing. Carrying instead my husband’s Olympus. (I’m quite challenged when it comes to new electronics. It takes me several shoots before the camera becomes an extension of my mind and eyes)
A little hesitant. It’s been only some months since we shifted to Austria. I still have a struggle with the newness of the language, culture, mindset… even the weather. The sunny blue skied day for which I’d put away my heavy coat with glee was bitingly cold. An icy wind cutting through my fleece jacket faster than the proverbial hot knife through butter.
As I made my way through the town, it seemed the streets of Leoben were inhabited today with ghosts and demons and witches and clowns and sheikhs and the Simpsons. For it was the day they call Faschings. The Germanic version of the Carnival.
I did my recce round and choose a sunny spot from which to see the parade. Standing midst a crowd of people. Still shy about taking photographs. Street – people photography and the amount of courage it takes has had reams written about it already.
But the light was strong and clear and the tricky lensbaby I had on the camera required every bit of concentration. As the procession reached me I got bolder in the photographs I was taking. Stepping forward to get a clearer view. Losing some of my nervousness and as I did that, I found myself being welcomed into the crowds.
Sweets and smiles were thrown with abandon by the people in the procession. Many stopping specially for their photograph to be taken. Rewarding me with a brightly coloured bon-bon for my efforts
For that moment I was part of the world here. No longer a stranger.
More on Faschings here