2015 Tokyo and Hong Kong Trip – Image 7

Be ready for your “decisive moment”. Make sure your camera is ready to take the shot with only an instant’s notice.

I was sitting down at the Miraikan Museum, resting for a moment after having been completely through all the exhibits. The shapes in the foyer were pretty cool, and I was thinking through how best to capture it on film, when I heard the sound of running footsteps.

In a moment, I realised a young guy was going to run straight past me in front of all the groovy shapes in the foyer. I only just managed to get the camera up in front of me as he ran past, almost flying.

The shot is one that has grown on me, reminding me of HCB’s famous image :


Street photography is, for me, about capturing the everyday happenings in a way that makes them look great. Only rarely do I manufacture a shot with a model or asking someone to do something. The hard part is that the “decisive moment” may only last a split second.

In this case, I couldn’t really ask the kid to run past me again to take the shot. Even if I did ask, and he was not creeped out by my request, I would personally find the image less fulfilling creatively. I have developed a personal philosophy on street photography over the years that works for me.

You can read more about it here.

Here are all the things that had to go right for the shot to happen.

  1. Camera out of the bag
  2. Hand on the body, ready to lift it
  3. Lens cap off
  4. Pre-focused using hyperfocal distance on wide angle lens
  5. Film in camera
  6. Film wound on

As he ran past, I simply lifted the camera up and hit the shutter button.

Even always having a hand on your camera body can help. If I had not had a hand on my camera at the time the kid came past, I probably would have missed it. Yeah, I might be a little obsessive about “being prepared”…

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