Subject Unknowing

Bicyclist Taking a Break, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

I wonder if I’ve ever been
The subject of someone’s
Best photograph of the day
But never found out

Like this fellow here
On the third shot of eleven
Who never looked up

So never saw the camera
Pointed out the taxi window

Capturing this delightful moment

Bicyclist on a Break
Java, Indonesia

Taken during travels, 2022

I love drive-by photography, shooting from a moving vehicle, especially in urban areas, especially in places unfamiliar. This wasn’t something I could do economically before digital. On two taxi rides the day this photograph was captured, I count nearly 700 shutter releases, shot in short bursts at 10 or so frames a second. That would have been 18 36-exposure rolls of film, in just a day, the vast majority of which are unusable.

If I can get 30 decent photographs from that, I’ll be satisfied.

And if I can edit just a few as good as this one, I’ll be very happy.

It’s kind of a crap shoot, in a couple senses. Yes, every shutter release is a gamble — thought the stakes are low because electrons are cheap. But it’s also true in that I have to wade through a lot of crap to get to the few gems.

But I’ll gladly take them, and spend the time wading through the mire of blurry, out of focus and badly framed images to find even just one like this one.