What Your Reaction To Strangers Says About You / by Tze Hern Yeo

It was my last chance to catch the sunrise over Cannes and I woke up bright and early at 4.30am to make sure I was on time. I walked past the empty streets that were slicked down after being washed on the cool Sunday morning and made my way up to a the cathedral that offered a panoramic view of the town.

I was ready for the sunrise at 5.50am and arrived just as a group of young teens were about to part ways after a night of what probably involved drunken revelry. The first streaks of orange tore through the sky in the distance but the clouds over the horizon obscured that ball of sunshine. I stayed on for a bit to capture the light show before heading back down.

While slightly disappointed I didn't get a full view of the sun, at the very least the morning climb was refreshing and provided some cardio. As I walked back to our apartment, the street ahead started to light up in gold. I looked up and saw the sun finally peeking through the hills in the distance. Without hesitation I whipped out my camera and began snapping away.

As I was framing the sun lit street for my shot, out of the corner of my eye I spotted two men approach me from behind. My instinct was to put my guard up. I turned to see one of them come up to me and requested for a photo of him against the backdrop of the sunrise. I let out an internal sigh of relief and obliged. What a difference an encounter with a stranger can be by just being a little more open minded.

He was dressed in a loose fitting shirt with a striking red and yellow print, with a pair of round shades framing his head of neatly trimmed hair. As he took his position in the middle of the street, he instantly got into a pose that was equal parts a show of confidence and indifference. He looked every bit fashionable as a model.

When we talked after I learned that he was a local musician and we promised to stay in touch. That was how I came to know Wesley and his music. Sure I don't understand a word of his songs, but I very much identify with the street attitude and style that he oozed in this serendipitous moment I captured of him.