Sometimes you can’t help going back to things, photographing them again until you get them the way you want them to be – the way you saw the shot in your mind’s eye. What Ansel Adams called pre-visualisation.
I’ve walked past this bridge many times, and thought about the shot I wanted to take. This was my first try, taken 5 years ago. Even though the film back had a light leak and the light shining on the bridge was too strong, I liked the bridge. It was more or less how I wanted it to be. But the steps in the background disappointed me – they were too dark. I could have played around in Photoshop, masked and dodged and burned and all that but I didn’t.
At the end of last year I went back along that path and I stopped to look through Vlad’s waist level finder. I don’t remember much about the weather, it was December, low light at the best of times, most likely overcast. Or maybe the sun went in by the time I was ready to take the shot. I remember putting my camera away, crossing the bridge and climbing the steps. I remember the flat trail we walked almost all the way back to the car. I remember crossing back over the river – if I thought hard I could even tell you what we chatted about along the way. I remember getting my camera out and taking the shot and I remember forgetting about it, abandoning hope that the shot would be anything like the scene I’d pictured in my mind’s eye.
But then I developed the film and I saw that it was more or less what I’d seen in my mind’s eye.