Friday, January 16, 2009

Deck Whittington

Anything To Declare (Apart From That Cycle?)

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


On the face of it, I guess I'm probably built like a sprinter. I'm tall and broad-shouldered and I have a stride like I'm wearing ten-league boots. But that's where it ends, trust me. I'm not a sprinter. Not now. Not ever. I was very handy at a variety of sports, but sprinting was never my forte.

The track and field gene, if it is indeed present in my DNA, is a recessive gene. A highly recessive gene.

Usain Bolt I ain't. Unlike Mister Bolt, I am not a dual Olympic sprint champion.

So when I was approaching one end of Princes Bridge and I saw this tourist cruise vessel heading towards the south bank of the river, I knew I had about three seconds, maybe four seconds, tops, to race across the bridge and be able to shoot directly downwards as the funnel passed underneath.

Picture this. Crowded bridge. Camera around my neck. And I've got four seconds to sprint thirty metres or more, zig-zagging through the pedestrians? Not gonna happen.

Not. Going. To. Happen.

But I got close, as you can see from the first photograph.

Then, as I shot the first image, I saw what you can see in the frame as well. The seat of a bicycle, with its clone-like shadow in the bright afternoon sun.

So of course I had to work the lens frantically to get a wider view, just as the vessel passed beneath the bridge.


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19 comments:

Sandy Toes said...

Wow...look at that picture!! I love the bike on top:)!
-sandy toe

The Quintessential Magpie said...

David, I'd say you did a great job sprinting to get this! Good work!

Sheila

Bren said...

Cool! I love those shots.

George said...

Maybe that sprinter gene is not so recessive after all. Good story.

avtcoach said...

Photo journalists can get very creative to get the shot! Great effort!

Mojo said...

Odd place to put that bike I'd say.

I'd also say whatever you went through to get it, the shot was well worth it.

Amazing isn't it, that sometimes the best shots are the ones we don't have time to think about.

Chris said...

The bicycle confuses my eyeballs.

richies said...

I've finally figured out why you are a better photographer than I am. I am not a good sprinter. As my grandfather used to say, "I run to long in one spot".

An Arkie's Musings

Seamus said...

You do have the t-shirt that says "Will run for shots!" don't you? So what if they were really talking Tequila ;)

Willow said...

The bike seat and shadow were worth the sprint, David. And I'm sure your heart pumped its adenaline for the requisite 1 hour after, partly from the sprinting and perhaps from the excitement of capturing the 'perfect' shot.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

That is some fast work David!
Great photos - and story - as always!

The Muse said...

SHADOW SHOT SPRINT :)
I like it ...nicely done, sir, yes, nicely done!

Cecily R said...

Niiiiiice catch David!

And oh, how I wish I had a picture of you sprinting for it!

Maggie May said...

I think you ARE a sprinter as you are always sprinting somewhere or other to take a photo! I have to laugh at the picture that conjures up in my mind!
Your pictures are very good and the last one was worth the sprint!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Still a good capture! But I must say, you probably gave other onlookers a story of their one with your sprint :)

Carolina said...

So I was thinking how the bike ended up on top of the boat. And I think I came up with the solution: in the Netherlands we have some really stupid people, mostly boys I have to say, who think it's really funny to throw a bike off a bridge. Many a bike has ended up in a canal that way. So maybe a really stupid Dutch boy on holiday in your part of this world, saw the bike, couldn't help himself....and then suddenly the boat just appeared from under the bridge....
No, it's probably just my imagination triggered by your photo. Nice.

Sandi McBride said...

And the bike speaks volumes about the life style of these folk...never content to be in one place to long...great shot, great sprint...ever considered the sailing life, cycling on the side?
Sandi

Daryl said...

Someday I will post my boat going under bridge with dog in boat taken in Venice ... similar conditions .. and I too am NOT a sprinter .. its amazing what we sloths will do for a good shot/angle

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Oh very nice perspective again (which is what you always master)!