Split second to shoot

Sometimes as a photographer a subject leaps out from the past and you have a split second to shoot. If you hesitate or snooze you lose. That subject drifts away before you capture it and the thought haunts you for a very long time.

You don’t quit cursing yourself for not having your camera on you or ready for that moment. That is why I never leave my camera at home because I never know when that split second to shoot will come.

Instead, I anticipate it though I have no idea what form it will appear in. Even when you have your camera ready, you never know what your exposure is going to be and to prepare for that moment, I always set my exposure for the area I am in and hopefully when that moment appears, I may just have to make a slight adjustment to my shutter speed because I shoot in manual mode.

Some photographers prefer shutter priority or aperture priority, programme or auto and that works for them. Whatever mode works for you is the best. As long as it enables you to capture the moment.

I had my split moment to shoot while I was walking into my local town centre and from the corner of my eye I spotted the beauty in the picture below slowing down at the roundabout and halt in traffic.

old car

That was it! I had a split second to shoot and brought the camera to my eye and focussed on the car, making subtle adjustments to my exposure to avoid clipping the shadows or highlights and bang. I got this image. I only had the opportunity to take one shot before the traffic started moving and that car drove out of sight.

I didn’t have time to think too much about the composition and other considerations. I just had to take what I could before the split second to shoot disappeared. What I loved about this subject was the juxtaposition between the modern and a classic car from the past. It just stood out for me and in a way illustrated how far we have come in the development of motor cars.

Of course for a car it’s age, it looked pristine and in good shape and I wanted to capture this beauty and share it with fellow classic car lovers. I have a thing for vintage cars or classic cars and that was what motivated me to shoot this subject.

In addition, I am one of those photographers who doesn’t stick to one subject. I shoot loads of things to stay interested. It is one way of keeping myself shooting and honing my technique, sharpening my reaction time and indulging in the things I love to do. Plus what better way to practise than to just shoot everyday.

Some people struggle to find subjects; I don’t believe that is possible if you want to shoot. Just go out and shoot and a subject will find you. Just make sure that you are prepared for that split second to shoot.


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