How many times have we all gone out shopping or to the laundrette and we think to ourselves we won’t bother to take the camera as nothing is likely to happen and we won’t be long anyway. Then it happens, the greatest opportunity arises for a classic street shot and you don’t have the ffffin camera with you.
You get a severe tongue lashing from your own tongue and hang your head in disappointment and like drinkers suffering a bad hangover you tell yourself never again.
Just an ordinary Saturday morning in July
I have to admit this does happen to me infrequently but has happened too many times to not take my camera out with me. I am not a smartphone photographer at all so rely on having my camera with me at all times. This was a case in point on Saturday morning when I was doing a simple chore of going to get my car washed by a friend at a specialist garage where he happens to wash the cars for a job.
I had my trusted Olympus Pen F digital camera with me and as my car was being washed I drifted around the site looking for potential shots. It was a beautiful sunny morning and there was a few office staff coming and going. I noticed a smoking section near to where my car was being cleaned and the waft of cigarette smoke drifted to where I stood.
Why you need to move your feet
One smoker in particular caught my eye as he seemed to stand in a slightly different place to where the others had stood and had moved behind this large metal fence. The Olympus Pen F was already in my hand and set up ready to shoot. I was at this point looking at this guy through the metal fencing and saw this as an opportunity to frame the subject in the spaces between the fencing.
There was a pile of used car tires off to the subjects right and stacked up on top of each other in an organic fashion. This was all happening very quickly and I realized I would have to strike soon before he finished his cigarette and would be gone.
I was slightly out of position to frame the shot as I wanted to consider the framing better so had to quickly move my feet into a better position to improve the composition and move the subject into the left of the frame and not so central.
I only use fixed focal length lenses so there is no zooming in or out, you have to move your feet to get into position to better communicate the kind of cinematic storytelling photographs I like to make. In this case I had already made up my mind that it was set up for a black and white photograph.
Framing is everything in this game
I knew I probably only had one chance before the situation would change so raised the camera to my eye, focused on the subject, framed the shot and boom, it was in the bag. I moved silently away from the scene as my friend gestured to me that the car was done.
I was pleased with the shot and fortunate that I take my camera everywhere I go. This was a case in point that good opportunities for photographs can happen at anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
Please follow me on Instagram @alfrankmonk