You head out early in the morning. If the sun is up already, you are too late. Waiting for the right light is a calculated gamble; sometimes you win, sometimes you loose. Sometimes everything comes together, and when it does, you had better be ready.
Standing at the top of the stairs composing the image in my mind I was barely aware of the family approaching from the parking lot. After all, it was early and I am used to being pretty much alone on my Sunday morning excursions. Evidently they knew the right time to be there also. While they took positions along the rail I set up my camera. In other words….I pointed it.
As they passed I noticed the “Grand Mother” was a bit lame and lagged behind the others a bit. As I pointed the camera they spread out along the rail. Grand Ma took up a position and settled in. Mom and Dad kept a watchful eye on the young ones, refreshing in these days of turn ‘em loose and let ‘em run, and consequently didn’t roam far up and down the rail. I made my 20 second exposure hoping for the best with a less than stationary crowd.
Had I needed to recompose the image on the ground glass instead of just pointing it in the direction as I did, the moment would have been lost. They didn’t stay long enough for the fineries of more than “point and hope”. Setting up for a pinhole image becomes intuitive. You know your format and the mechanic become almost automatic. The quite discipline that is pinhole served me well.
Serendipity…..sometimes it’s really only being there at the right time and ready to take advantage of what you are presented.