The Ones That Got Away


In which our hero drops the ball and misses opportunities. Or, when the moment passes and the shot has not been taken.

Initially, this article was to be written sans pictures. Because, well, it’s about pictures that didn’t get taken. But, per management’s request, there is an image for the thumbnail and the heading to comply with guidelines.

The one that got away; I can remember the first one so vividly. I can see the image in my mind when I recall the moment: girl, brunette, standing at the end of the row of vendors at the farmers market holding 3 large sunflowers, right side profile to me, watching the doors into the interior of the market waiting. One day I’ll paint the pictures or draw it (when I take the time to learn how to do either of those things) because I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recreate that moment in time again.

It was the first trip I’d taken out with La Sardina + Kodak BW400CN. I’d been reading a lot about Winogrand and Bresson and street photography and catching motion, capturing moments. I was enraptured by the spontaneity of the style and I am enamored by black and white photography. So, here I am in this crowded market, I see this girl holding the sunflowers. Camera comes up to my eye to take the shot, I take a couple blind steps closer to get a better frame and…bump!

In the seconds it took to take my two steps, a woman pushing a stroller had attempted to pass me and I kicked the stroller. I hadn’t seen her in my periphery as I was blindly stepping and I felt horrible for startling the baby. I apologized, she glared at me, and when I looked up to try for another shot the girl with the flowers was walking away.

Second one: Older couple crossing bridge at botanical gardens, he puts his arm around her, she leans into him and reciprocates, they have a look at each other that I am unable to put into words, they cross bridge and as I’m lining up to snap as they come down the other side they’re apart again.

This one was my own fault. I was playing with the meter on my 500dtl and wasn’t proactive enough. That and I’d sprawled all my crap out onto the patio overlooking a pond where I was trying to take a picture of a frog. He was there and didn’t move at all no matter how close I got… it had to be taken.

In my adventures behind the lens, there were numerous people I’d followed a while to try and get a good candid shot of them (that shouldn’t sound creepy…I’m not a stalker) but was unable to for some reason or another: lost them in the crowd, they put down or stopped what they were doing, etc. But, I wouldn’t call this a shot that got away.

You know the one that got away when it does. There’s a feeling of loss as if you just missed something very important. And, in my mind I can see the image that would have come of the girl with the flowers…and it was good I think.

So, have you missed any shots? Feel free to share in the comments below; I’d love to hear about them!

written by rrohe on 2011-08-23 in #lifestyle #film-photography #sardina #photography #kodak #winogrand #lomography #bresson #analogue-lifestyle #sunflowers #missed-opportunities


  1. dreaminphotographs
    dreaminphotographs ·

    Sunsets are the worst! Seconds really matter when trying to shoot them (so I've learned)

  2. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Soooo many missed shots.

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