At a lake near my home in Bangkok locals often gather in the evening. On this night, there were several people around the lake feeding fish, but two children had translucent buckets that added an interesting element and drew my attention.
Before the Shot
I began taking photos of two kids exposing for the sky so I could capture the orange sunset and silhouette the kids. The boy and girl were laughing and playing and were oblivious to me. I got down low so their heads would be above the horizon and against the sky.
The boy took some feed from his bucket and tossed it with his hand which made an interesting shot, and then threw the contents of his bucket in the lake in a dramatic gesture. Neither of these photos worked very well because his silhouette blended in with the girl’s.
The Decisive Moment
After the Photo
I looked around for the parents to show them the photo just in case they were worried about me creeping on their kids. In Asia most people don’t care if you photograph their kids. If they see you doing it, they usually pose the child or tell them to smile. But still, I wanted to be open about what I was doing. I didn’t see any parents so I continued to shoot photos in the park.
The Takeaway: When you find a great scene, be patient and keep shooting. It would have been easy to get one or two shots and move on, but by hanging around a little longer I got a variety of compositions and one winning shot.
Having said that, I really wish the shot of the boy flinging the feed with the bucket would have worked. That photo is more dynamic, but the overlapping silhouettes ruin it. I guess I’ll have to go back and try again!