Monday, October 27, 2008

The One That Got Away

It is well known that some of the greatest fishing stories, or stories about other activities for that matter, are about "The One That Got Away". How wonderful it is to imagine and exaggerate and illustrate in glowing colors the one that got away. Photographs are no exception. How many times have I known with utter certainty that I missed an incredible photographic opportunity by a few seconds of indecision, or an act of fate that placed me at slightly the wrong place at the wrong time, or a moment of fumbling with the focus or the other camera settings, and a marvellous photo escaped me. The other day driving to work there was an old orange VW Beetle parked near the end of a runway by the airport, while jets were taking off just over it and disappearing into the low hazy clouds. I'm sure there was a fabulous photo there waiting to be caught, but I couldn't stop at that point along the road, and too far to walk back, would have had to backtrack quite a ways, so for any number of reasons, I missed that chance... the one that got away.
This photograph is an example of another version of the one that got away... much to my chagrin I never knew who the owner of these lovely legs was. So close yet so far, I could only ever after wonder what I had missed by not going around that tree and finding any lame excuse to start a conversation. I remember she was sitting leaning back on a bench, soaking up some late afternoon sun... the one that got away, leaving me with just a glimpse of leg to dwell on.

1 comment:

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

A lovely leg, a tantalising photo and your reflections on missing an interesting or perfect shot.
Your photography along with your poetry is what defines this blog, but I'm pretty sure you have also discovered that sometimes it is worth leaving the lens cap on and letting your mind do the recording. Once, in a high Hunza house, where our elderly hostess sat with her black ringlets on the other side of the fire from me, I longed to capture her image with the light shining down through the roof entrance, lighting up the rising smoke and her deeply etched face. But as a passing visitor I could not bring myself to use my camera, tourist fashion, and remarkably I hold that image true in my mind decades on.
Tonight I've been enjoying reading about your pre-digital photography.
Wonderful stuff.