Itching Image: Sudden Surprise.

Kids In Alley.© Knut Skjærven.

It is a long time since I took this picture. Must have been 2003.

It is shot in a little village in the south of France named Gassin. I had driven down from Copenhagen and should pick up my wife/partner in Nice later in the day. So I drove to Gassin to kill time.

This was way before I thought that I should ever take a more serious interest in street photography. But I had a vague idea who HCB was and likes his work. So, I wanted to freeze the context and wait for something to happen in the little space I had given for something to happen. I waited for a sudden surprise.

And I got it as you can see. And so did they.

I liked the narrow passage and I thought that the hard light worked well. This was in the good old film days and I had a Contax G. I wonderful camera. I still have it, but it is not used much, I am sorry to say. I leaned hard against the wall to fix the camera. Then I just waited. Maybe 10 minutes, maybe more. A family came passing and with them these two kids. The boy discovered me and wanted his sister (presumably) to get out of the way as to not spoil my photograph.

I have a couple of these shots showing him dragging her out of the way. If I can find the negatives, that is. Must have been Reala since I fancied that. Later converted to black and white.

The story is not much longer than this. Sudden Surprise. Pick what you find to be an excellent location for a photograph, bring a chair and a cup of coffee and just wait. I leaned against a wall, which is a bit more troublesome.

What is it they say: Luck comes to those you wait? Did someone say that? At all?

I don’t know if this is a special photo. But I enjoy it and that is all that matters. It is shown here to point to a special technique used my many. Including HCB. I call it Sudden Surprise. You never know what might happen.

You can do it. HCB did.

© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved. Text and photo.

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