Roll #42: When the Lights Go Down in the City

Updated: Feb 18

One fine night in the bleak midwinter, I grew tired of the warmth of my home and headed into the city with a camera. It was a questionable decision but sometimes questionable decisions lead to outstanding results.


After arriving in Baltimore, I started walking. Two hours and 36 exposures later, I stopped. During this time I met new people, saw new things, and gained a deeper understanding of where I live.


I headed deep into the heart of darkness. Neon brought new life to the streets.

People were few and far between. Streetlights were dim, broken, or nonexistent but the neon, omnipresent, cut through the night with vengeance.

As I continued walking, I encountered a man face down on the ground. Wires wildly looped their way from his back to a stun gun firmly gripped by a police officer. It was a new sight to me but something I'm told is common for the area. The police lights illuminated the street, throwing blue and red outward---bouncing, reflecting off walls and windows. On the brick wall to my left, my shadow danced with the flicker of the blue and red lights.

A firetruck passed, quickly followed by an ambulance.

I figured it would be best to move on so I continued my walk. Past the liquor store. Past the barber. Past China Express. Past the dog walking. Past the drug dealing.


As I walked, so did others. I often found myself flanked by shadows. These shadows appeared under the dull streetlights and disappeared into the darkness.

I made a friend on Baltimore Street. We talked music, photography, and good eats.

We went our separate ways and as I wandered, I passed some Baltimore icons. Remnants of better times.

As I walked back to my car, I was approached by a troubled man who had left his farm to participate in an anti-Trump rally which had already ended. He said his wife made him wait until all the chickens were back in the coop because she was fearful of a fox attack. He then accused me of being pro-Nazi for not participating in the protest. Confused, I quickly pointed out that he too had not participated in the protest as a result of his tardiness. I asked what that made him. Flustered, he walked away.

I had just come to enjoy myself and take pictures. No hate. No politics. Just pictures.

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel + 50mm f/1.8

Film: FujiFilm FujiColor Xtra 400

When: December 2019

Where: Baltimore, MD

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©2019 by Taylor Mackay