Photographers learn to read light and shadows. Portrait photographers are especially sensitive to seeing how light falls and where it creates its shadows because for us the portrait is in the light and shadows.
It is possible that this has made me a better driver. It is also possible that "seeing" the world the way I do saved a life or two.
Wednesday, I was driving to Annapolis. Getting there means hopping on Md Route 3 and then catching I97. Where Rt. 3 merges on to I97, Route 32 also mergers in. Great design for On-Ramps; which run parallel for over 1/2 a mile. But also, lots of traffic. And if you don't make the double merge from Rt3 to I97 you will find yourself exiting off to Crownsville.
There is a lot of local traffic at this location and the merge lanes are quite long and so the traffic is at Interstate speed when you make these mergers. Most everyone leaves space so the merges occur like a zipper. Smooth and quick. And then the two Maryland route roads merge into the I97 traffic just as smoothly. Often the traffic on I97 clears the right lane completely to allow this.
Wednesday, as I was zipping along and ready to make the first merge, I checked my rear view mirror and it showed just one SUV about four lengths back. I turned my head to the left saw nothing beside me and hit my turn signal to make the merge, but as I was turning my head back I noticed the shadow running on the road next to me. A shadow my own car could not make. I looked again for another vehicle but saw nothing, but that shadow convinced me there was another vehicle tucked into a blind spot. So I held my lane.
Seconds later, precious seconds later, a sports car emerged from what seemed like nowhere. Into the I97 traffic, merged a dark blue Corvette. A stunning dark blue Corvette.
Small car. Big shadow.
Life of a photographer.