On one of my winter pilgrimages to sunny Florida, I did my usual meandering in search for interesting images. Early in the trip, though, while lugging equipment, I was hit with terrible back pain. I dealt with it as best I could, and went ahead and made arrangements for a drive to do some shooting in the Florida Keys with a friend. My back was giving such problems, though, that it got to the point where I couldn't drive or carry my camera bag. I carried my point and shoot for some snapshots while we explored the Keys.
My back was getting worse, and the pain was hard to bear at times. I was using heat packs and over-the-counter medication, but they gave little relief. I hobbled along on our journey; saw some sights in Key West and road shotgun in the SUV. I hated to waste this time, but I just couldn't carry my Hasselblad equipment with me.
As we settled in at the hotel on the second night, I realized that the small pool there was a nice spot and decided to just sit and watch the sunset. It struck me that this was just what I was looking for; there were some great shots here. I cautiously got my Hasselblad and tripod out and started to do some shooting at the pool. It was just my style, secluded and quiet, and I loved the reflections in the still water. The next day I did a bit of exploring around the shoreline. There was a wealth of visual inspiration, with the vegetation in the water and various rock formations in that azure water, and the great cumulus clouds, my favorite.
I went to the doctor when I returned home and was diagnosed with a severely herniated disk and sciatica. Had spinal injections and plenty of pain medication. This went on for weeks and was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. As a kid, I remember my father was indestructible. He would almost never miss a day of work, and the rare times he did it was due to attacks of sciatica. I didn’t understand at the time, but now I do.
New York, New York
At left: Arnie's Place
Pembroke Pines, Florida 2006