Waiting for the Light

Recently, I saw a series of articles called “The Story behind the Photo” and it brought to mind this image from Arles a month ago.

Like many old cities, Arles has beautiful buildings virtually ruined by the trappings of modern urbanisme – shop signs, street furniture and clutter.

It was the richness of the old building that first caught my photographer’s eye. But then I was intrigued by the photographer.

Have you ever seen a tripod as  big as that? His Nikon camera (can anyone tell which model it is?) is framed on the not very interesting shopping street we had just walked along . He is extremely well prepared,  with a huge tripod, taller than he is, to lift the camera angle, and with steps for him to make the necessary camera adjustments.

And he is waiting…………… For what – the right light? Sun was threatening to poke through grey clouds that had prompted a warm shower – hence the cloth covering his camera. But we were there for several minutes and did not see a frame captured during that time.

So a VERY dedicated and patient photographer. He knew what he wanted to capture and was prepared to do whatever was necessary.

For my part – I like images that tell a story. I’ve straightened some verticals and slightly saturated the colours to emphasise the richness of the building, but little more.

I am undecided whether to remove the unsightly blue signs either side of the shop door and other little nuisances like the yellow sticker on the right hand bollard. These are distracting but on the other hand there are there and arguably part of the overall scene.

Uncertain too as to whether the posters on the left of the frame should be cropped out. At present I enjoy their counter-balance to the photographer – but by next week I may have changed my mind.

Such is the fickle nature of photography.

And who knows, the photographer in the picture may still be there – waiting for the light!                                                                                                                   Gary


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