mano-a-mano 1

“Another one bites the dust”

Sydney July 2013 – April 2015 (5 photos)

“Steve walks warily down the street
With the brim pulled way down low.
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go.”

The term “Mano a Mano” is Spanish and literally means “Hand to Hand” as in unarmed combat. However in its modern incarnation the term is used in any scenario where two (usually male) individuals are going to have some sort of direct competition, friendly or otherwise.

mano-a-mano 2

“Are you ready, hey, are you ready for this?
Are you hanging on the edge of your seat?
Out of the doorway the bullets rip
To the sound of the beat.”

And so it is for me, when I’m out on the street, and I see a single combatant approaching me. The challenge is set and I will walk right at them, and they walk right at me. Two guys in motion but only one can win. Will he see me first and run away? Or, will I fire first and get the shot in?

mano-a-mano 4

“Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone, and another one gone
Another one bites the dust”

the hype

“Hey, I’m gonna get you, too
Another one bites the dust.”

It’s even better if they’re holding a camera. Sometimes, I feel sorry for them. Well, maybe not.

But then one day, that dark fateful day, it happened.

We were both walking the line right at each other. One of us had to give. He licked his lips and accepted my challenge.

I commenced my approach.

I shot and missed. But not by much.

My pulse raced. Sweat formed on my forehead.

I quickly refocussed and shot him again.

A direct hit, but he just smiled and kept coming at me.

No time for another shot. He lowered his eyes, dipped his head and charged right at me.

He was not stepping off that line.

I had to swerve and surrender to a greater force.

mano-a-mano 3

Humbled, I slinked away. I’m sure that St George was looking over that boy’s shoulder that day. Well, my previous post was about The dangers of street photography

To the victor goes the spoils. I turned around just in time to see him take another lick of his candy stick.

All these photos were taken with preset manual focus and in all these photos, I was walking and so was the subject. This is one of the strengths of manual focus over automatic focus. As long as the shutter speed is fast enough, the set distance will be in focus despite camera and subject being in motion.

“Another One Bites the Dust” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by bass guitarist John Deacon. The song was apparently used in a study to train medical professionals to provide the correct number of chest compressions per minute while performing CPR. The song has close to 110 beats per minute, and 100–120 chest compressions per minute are recommended by the British Heart Foundation. (Reference: wikipedia)

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Mano a Mano

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68 thoughts on “Mano a Mano

  1. 1. Love the Littlest Ramone. He is wonderful
    2. I have been laughing all day. I never actually knew WHAT the lyrics were until I read your post. I will only say that my version involved a “steamboat headed down the street.”

    • I like your lyrics better. On the radio station I listen to there is currently a competition where they play the introduction to a song and you have to sing the first few words exactly for the prize. So many common songs, and I can recite almost none of them. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the story to go with the photos, made it quite interesting and the last one made me smile. All the while having the great Queen song in my head perfect 🙂

    • Thank you.
      In the first round of storms early last week, trees next door cracked and fell onto my small trees and shrubs, so that required several hours of cleanup. And a little bit of wet carpet.
      Then when the golf ball size hail came on Saturday evening, most of my other plants were damaged. Fortunately all my windows survived but I was truly concerned.
      But I didn’t lose power or have any structural damage, so I’m better off than many others. More storms are coming later this week so fingers remain crossed.

  3. In motion one step at a time … nice take on the challenge and great job with the photos. My fav is the one with the little boy – maybe because he seems to be concentrating really hard on his walking 🙂

  4. It’s seems you do get to always fire first! 😉 I was just wondering if you’ve ever taken a picture of another photographer and they are doing the same to you? That could be quite a laugh I would imagine, as long as you both have a sense of humour on the situation! 🙂

    If the little boy actually saw you, he was very sharp! But children often see, hear and think of things that adults don’t. That’s the problem when we grow up, we get way too preoccupied with stupid things that we really shouldn’t.

    ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ is one I know so well, but funny thing is, I’ve never been completely sure what its really about – other than, another one biting the dust! 😉

    • I’ve taken a photograph of someone/something and then noticed later in my photo, someone taking the shot from the other side, so yes, in a way. 🙂

      That boy was so intent on walking along that line, that he didn’t care who was in the way. I was just “in his way”.

    • I did a google search and found this:

      The lyrics to this song were inspired after the writer saw a documentary on the St. Valentines day Massacre. If you don’t know that it is quite hard to understand what the lyrics are about. They describe a man walking silently down a street with his hat covering his face carrying a machine gun. The words of the song are building up an atmosphere describing what is about to happen, is there going to be some kind if fight and if so who with, who will he start shooting?

      The song then takes a twist when he starts singing about someone who has wronged him, a lover perhaps, who left him with nothing and with nowhere to live. The song ends with bullets being fired and another one biting the dust so you can only imagine that he has gone looking for an ex lover and he has killed them for the way they treated him.

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  6. Great writing ~ photos, a lot of fun with this one especially with a great song of the past working its way into my mind for the rest of the day! The words so true with your photos, and the last shot of the kid and words that follow were perfect. Cheers to a great weekend.

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