Yesterday, when I was digging up the original edited file for the photo of the day, a little detail in my selection stood out and made me rather happy with myself. The photo which you see above was literally the next shot in what I considered the best of the best images from that London vacation.
I would dare to say this is one my favourite and "best" pictures I've ever taken.
Unlike yesterday's fisheye from the London Eye, this duck photo has more of a back-story to it, but it shows again a very touristy scene in a very different way than most.
We had just come down from the ferriss wheel (which my mom hated btw) and we were heading towards London bridge and Westminster, and walking along the river bank, there were obviously loads of people taking the exact same picture of Big Ben and the bridge and the river. Sure, different angles, varying compositions and focal lenghts, but in essence very similar photos. You know, photos like this one:
I don't think I was even looking to take photos like that, and instead I was going for details, like the lion statues at the end of the bridge, or just the architectural details, which is why I already had my telephoto lens on. As we were walking, my dad pointed out the couple of ducks that just landed on the ledge, so he deserves a lot of the credit for this shot. I had to shoot very fast, since I anticipated that they would probably just fly away again. I had to kneel down to get the angle I needed to get Big Ben entirely in the background, and I was going for the symmetry of the two birds on either side of the landmark, so I had to move myself physically to be in the right position to get it. I must have snapped only 3 or 4 shots and that was it. They were gone.
There were people next to me with all sorts of cameras, and clearly from all sorts of experience levels, and I know for a fact that noone else captured that moment.
For me, this was a huge lesson in observation and being prepared. If you have one takeaway from this story, let it be this - be more conscious, as you walk through life, not just of the Big Bens you see across the river, but also of the little ducks that might be just in front of you.