|Sicily 2012 - on the road to the |
Golla della Alcantara
We’ve had to disturb one of them, the café owner, because we’re looking for a coffee ourselves. He’s very friendly, but he also wants to get back out there with his friends, we are a distraction. He keeps looking past us, out the door to where they are all sitting, he might be missing something.
They are not unique to this place. You’ll find them everywhere - anywhere with sun to shine on their backs, and shade to cool them; close to a source of fairly regular coffee, or perhaps something stronger; where they don’t mind strangers looking on, and where they can ignore them completely.
|Sicily 2012 - just outside the |
Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo
I suspect their wives might just be glad they’re getting out of the house.
Old people and markets seem to become a cliché of the tourist photographers portfolio - I have quite a few in mine. They express colour, and wisdom, age, freshness, life at its opposite speeds, it’s opposite ends. Surely, there is nothing new to document?
But - maybe there is, if you’re very lucky. A look, a gesture, an interaction.
Occasionally, an eye expressing an entire history stares directly down the camera lens at you, challenging. I am not a tourist attraction, son.
|In a park in Trogir, Croatia 2011|
You’ll see them around the world these old boys – maybe the same ones, international, geriatric playboys, following summer around and making their money by playing cards, or a lucrative game of boules.
It’s taken them 65 years or more to recognise that this is what they should be doing with their lives – sitting around in the sun, doing nothing, just talking, being with friends. While the rest of us look on, commenting that we should be doing exactly that.
Then taking a couple of photos, turning away and carrying on, as we were.