I’ve often heard photographers, particularly those specialising in landscape work, say they feel satisfied with an image when it conveys the feelings they had at the time it was taken.
A completely understandable sentiment. But, back in July, I had quite the opposite experience.
I was in the South of France, partly for a holiday and partly to take in the magnificent photography festival in Arles.
It was quite by chance that I discovered the Tour de France was starting out from Aix en Provence on the day I was visiting the town. I’m not a great cycling fan but it did seem exciting to have the chance to see such a world famous event. I arrived early at the route the cyclists were due to take and already there were crowds of people lining the street that was closed to traffic.
It was hot and bright and there was a feeling of anticipation in the air. People were jostling for position in the shade, and the best vantage point for taking pictures. There was hardly anyone without a camera.
The excitement mounted as the tour cars started coming through in advance of the cyclists, horns honking and the crowd cheering — snapping away, getting ready for the big moment.
And I was among them — I particularly wanted to send some pictures to a Tour de France fanatic friend. I only had my cameraphone with me but knew it was up to the job and I could email the pictures to her right away.
Suddenly it was happening, a great cheer rose up, everyone surged forward, cameras at the ready. Thinking quickly, I realised that the best viewpoint would be directly ahead of me, rather than attempting to compete with the surge of people trying for an oncoming shot. I raised my phone, trying to see the screen but the sun was so glaring it was impossible so I just clicked, clicked, clicked.
And then, suddenly, it was over.
I stood there, completely aghast. I’d been so busy trying to see the screen of my phone that I had not seen the cyclists go by at all -I’d missed the actual experience.
I couldn’t believe it.
Later, when I looked at the three images I’d taken (and they were all quite good), it still didn’t make up for it. I had evidence that I was there at the precise moment the cyclists went by, but I had no actual memory of it because I simply hadn’t experienced it.
Maybe next time I won’t be such a trophy hunter…
Elizabeth Roberts, Editor
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ON THE STREET
After last month’s Leica workshop, assistant editor Anna went out on the streets of Soho, sadly with no Leica M but here is her favourite image from the shoot.
This month’s cover image is by Michel Rajkovic. See more of his work on page 82.
A PICTURE WE LOVE
Tim Rudman’s fabulous White series #2, is among his pictures exhibited at Gold Street Studios and Gallery in Melbourne, Australia, from 16 August to 6 October. The prints are handmade on Ilford Multigrade Warm tone FB paper.