Where. Little Gaddesdon, Bedfordshire, UK
What: A Tree, my daughter and a red balloon
When: 17th June 2013, 3.50pm
With what: Sony RX100
This is a shot in which I am amazed even happened.
The day before this was taken, the air was still, the sun was out but soft, the sky had a lovely tone to it, everything was dry and I had an idea for a shot.
I asked my daughter if she minded (she always hates me taking her photograph) me taking a shot of her in a “magical field” in her best red dress and she would get an ice lolly for a treat afterwards. Well that didn’t fly with her, she wanted to see the lolly first and ask my wife if I was telling stories again.
Well after a fair bit of persuasion, bribery and flattery she gave in and agreed. Not really thinking the whole thing through at this point, it was only in the car half way there did I brief my willing vic.. er, helpers about what I wanted.
Although this scene was a down country lane in the middle of nowhere it was the busiest road in the middle of nowhere. Cars were whizzing passed every minute, lots of locals who seemed hell bent on stopping to tell us we shouldn’t park in a lay-by or just to stop and stare at why we decided to stop in a lay-by for seemingly no apparent reason other than to be difficult.
We managed to park safely and get everyone in to their pre designated (by me) positions. My wife was across the field with her Sony RX100 in hand with my prepped advice and I followed my daughter with my Rolleiflex. My daughter was neatly dressed in her best red dress and in her right hand we looped (many times) the ribbon attached to the the newly inflated helium balloon.
We (my daughter not I) ran along the narrow footpath in between the crops toward the tree until I judged we were the correct distance from the tree, I then attempted to call my wife via her mobile phone to tell her to take her shots.
I pulled out my phone and rang. It rang and rang and rang. Eh? I rang again, this time I got voicemail. Eh? I could just about see my wife waving her hands in the distance and a very quiet distant voice screaming, “I don”t have my phone!"
We resorted to hand gestures and sign language. It was this point I remembered I had not set up her camera fully for her. But thought she’d suss it out. My daughter who was very excited by this point was jumping around. Though for some reason was also shouting saying she couldn’t see mummy.
I realised that my daughter was too short for the crop to see or be seen properly and was jumping up and down to try see over the crops to see where my wife was and who I was waving my arms at.
I did the only thing I could think of, I got on all fours in the mud and told her to stand on my back for extra height. 6 attempts later including many gesticulations to my wife to let her know what we were attempting my daughter was standing on my back and in position for my wife to take her shots.
Then I heard the fateful words, “oh no, daddy, we have a problem”.
The only balloon I had taken with us was floating away at high speed and the best planned photoshoot (lol) was a now a floating away in the breeze.
I only hoped that in the 25 minutes of mayhem my wife was able to shoot something worth printing.
When we got back to the car about 20 minutes later and sat down, my wife then said, “I only took 3 shots”.
I looked at the shots and they were all out of focus, the third one was of her knee.
I suggested we call it a day and go home.
This shot was shot the next day and slightly, only slightly, better from the day before, it was filled with as much problems as the previous day, including my wife bursting the balloon immediately after this shot was taken. My daughter who was supremely energetic and totally bored we were attempting the same shot again tried to suggest how to complete the scene with her own ideas. Which involved running around pretending we were tigers and catching the three dear jumping across the field. My vintage clothing (which for some reason I decided to wear) was now totally covered in yellow blossom.
So was my wife’s clothes as she lying on the floor holding up my daughter from underneath as my daughter was scared she would fall off of the step ladder we brought for her.
Oh well, miracles do happen, kind of. We got this shot.
I hope you like it.
Sony RX100. ISO 200, f11, 1/250th. Chucked into CS6 and a signature shoved on it.
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