Some readers of this blog may recall a post I did in August, where I finally scrambled after a horse and rider who I very often saw on weekends downtown, and was able to photograph a few times on its steady trek through our fair summer streets. Yet, the photo I really had in mind still eluded me.
It would be through the window of Ardella's Downtown Diner, as I had seen it so many times before, but passing too quickly to turn on the camera, frame the shot, hold still, and press the button, all in time for it to be directly opposite from me at the dining counter. I had told the diner owners, who had told the staff, what my vision entailed. So for months, they would share a chuckle every time the horse went by and I wasn't there, or even better, after I had just left. But I blogged what I got, and had pretty much forgotten about it.
Then, on a recent Sunday, I had finished my late breakfast and lingered over coffee even as the "Closed" sign was turned, and the table settings put away. The boss always keeps everything sparkling clean, and I suddenly noticed the interesting effect of the lights reflected on the black granite she had just wiped down. She has gotten used to me taking pictures of my food, or other people's food (yes, I ask first... mostly), so it was unremarkable that I was once again taking more pictures inside her establishment. The waitresses were tallying up their tickets and counting their tips and catching their final meals before heading home.
And then, like a miracle, the horse appeared, and I was ready. Completely unplanned, but there it was. We probably gasped, and said a few disbelieving "Nooooh"s. And as if to give me even more time, the horse balked as it started to pass, so the rider had to turn it back out of view before insisting that it proceed back to the south past our window. I snapped her riding away, thinking that would be as good a view as would be coming. But as she came back around, I tracked her progress with my viewfinder, saw her appear in the targeted window, and pressed the shutter button.
"I got it," I said. "I think I got it."
I never know for sure with any of my pictures if they turned out well on the spot, because I can't really make out the quality of the focus on the tiny screen on the camera. So the true test would be how it would look on my computer screen. I paid my tab, and hurried home.
The problem with pictures that are imagined is they usually can't be created by an amateur like me. The contrasting light between the outdoors and the indoors leaves you sacrificing one for the other, or compromising both. I could see that I got the shot, but realized the horse and rider didn't loom quite as large as I thought they would, and the signs and back window reflections interfered more than I anticipated, and the background was all overexposed. But when I looked at the photo before me, I adored it. Not for what was outside, but for what I wasn't even paying attention to on the inside. Not only had they cheered me on, but some of the staff were right there in my picture frame! Completely absorbed in the culmination of my quest, I was oblivious as they looked on in wonder, knowing how much I had wanted that moment! Their faces tell the story. That's why I love this shot.
Hi, my name's Elaine, and I'm a City Daily Photo Blogger. This is my town.