Workshop: Wait for it…


Nikon D700, 14-24mm/2.8 @ 14mm, f/5.6, ISO1600

This is by far one of my favourite photos I’ve taken this year. I love the symmetry of the kiosk, the sense of isolation, the way the fun park ride stretches into the corner of the frame, the way the setting sun puts everything in silhouette, which is offset by the yellow glow coming from the kiosk lights…

But there’s a lot more to capturing this photo than simply being at the right place at the right time: this photo, taken at a music festival, involved people. Lots of people. There were people walking through the foreground, standing around in awkward places, conducting phone calls, eating, chatting… one group of people wanted me to take a photo for them, and another guy – a school teacher, if I recall correctly – wanted to have a full-blown conversation with me about the photo I’m taking.

Now, I’m not the kind of person who’ll make a scene and tell everyone to stay out of my picture. Besides, I’m shooting at 14mm, so it would’ve been a huge area that I’d have to clear; and it’s not like I don’t want anyone in the picture. That said, I’m not in a position to tell all of these people where they should stand either.

So the only thing I can do, to be honest, is be patient and wait.

Altogether, I waited for around 10 minutes for this shot. In the dying light of a sunset, this feels like an eternity because there was a very real risk that I’d run out of sunlight.

But I would’ve been fine with that. At the end of the day, some shots just aren’t meant to happen and you have to move on. Good thing I got lucky, then.


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