Like so many photographers I find people to be a burden to photography as often as they are a blessing. How many times have I stood waiting impatiently for some tourist to finally finish taking their photo, to finally keep walking and stop wandering into the middle of my frame – spots on a lens that refuse to be wiped away.
Greek ruins are particularly trying of ones patience. Summer crowds mean camera-toting tourists clouding almost every panorama. Like many of the guests, I spent the day impatiently waiting in line and wishing away the crowds around me. I could feel my inner peace eroding under the steady stream of human traffic. To quiet my growing indignation I took a moment to pause and consider the human element of the setting. These ruins, this beauty, had been made by people no different then the ones I was wishing away. It was built for their enjoyment, not as some stuffy museum. Who was I to try and impose my aesthetic on this monument to human achievement?
As if to reward my brief moment of clarity a small child of no more than two came running through columns. His age, wobbly run and round little face contrasted with the impassive stone columns which had stood unmoving for a thousand of his lifetimes. Through him I realised the significance of where I stood, and raising my camera just in time, I captured his triumphant run over the ancient stones. Then, as suddenly as he had appeared, he was gone, obscured by a steadfast pillar and the had moment passed, like countless others here, into history.