The Perfect Photo
Dedicated to my sister. Love yas. xo
Avalon was walking down Old Hill Road when she saw the strangest thing.
(Girl walking down falling road with hill on one side, old fencing and long grass.)
“Are you here again?” she asked.
“I am! Until I get the perfect photo…” the lady said.
(Lady setting by her tripod, setting up her camera gear.)
The lady was a friend of her father’s, and took photos for a living.
(Girl sitting beside lady as she sets up, reading, lost in a photo book called Zo Photo.)
She was the best!
“How can I make a perfect photo?” Avalon asked.
(Girl bending to look through camera lens while lady is checking light meter.)
“A good question!” said the lady.
(Head down in camera kit, pointing finger in air.)
“First,” she smiled, “you have to take a million, billion, zillion bad photos!”
“Oh,” said Avalon.
(Girl holding fingers like a frame, looking through them at old goat, tethered to tin kennel on side of road.)
“But with each one, learn!”
(Girl on belly, angle on goat now has old shed in it, looks great.)
“How to get light right, focus right.”
(Girl’s eye, as seen through lens she is holding.)
“Your angles right. Your distances.”
(Lady talking photo of farmer walking towards them. Girl Jumping with happiness.)
“Dad!!” Avalon cheered.
“If you want to make a living from it, you have to compete with LOTS of other photographers!”
(Lady still setting up to far right -fold-up seat and soup flask. Girl to far left, looking back. In between them, a few tourist cars have stopped. Everybody, pro and amateur, is taking photo of goat.)
“Oh,” Avalon said again.
“Anyone can take a good photo. I can take a good photo…! But perfect? Most of all, you need patience.”
(Girl and lady looking at each other.)
“Why?” asked Avalon.
“To take that perfect photo, of course!”
(Lady arms out, as if showing off all of valley. Girl leaping into a hug with farmer/dad.)
“Look at this. I have to wait…”
“For the right time of day…”
(Both watching sun dropping towards ridge with a few trees and cows on it. Dad walking on down road.)
“The right type of clouds…”
(Cloud shadows all over hill in background.)
“The right light…”
(Shed with old tractor full of shadow and light. Girls shadow on it, too.)
“And one more thing,” the lady said. “You often have to wait for that something special. That thing you only get to see if you’re out here a lot.”
(Looking down past gliding eagle, to the girl and lady talking on side of road.)
“Like what?” asked Avalon.
“Like that time I waited for two weeks to see the mountain mists lit my dusk moonlight, pouring down into the valley.”
(Lady at moonlit night, face silver and shadow, about to use time-laps camera, mist blowing around her.)
“Or when that little girl laughed just as the rodeo clown landed in a cloud of dust.”
“The first drops of desert rain on that rusty old tractor.”
“Or frosty morning after frosty morning, waiting for a blue wren to sing while the sun streaked through the tree.”
(Image as described, with lady under tree taking photo.)
“So what special thing are you waiting for here?” Avalon asked.
“See that storm coming, as it approaches, everything will shift.”
(Black clouds, with grey water falling at end of valley.)
“And that will be your perfect photo?” Avalon asked.
“No, that will be perfect for lighting. Atmosphere. My perfect photo might not even happen. Sometimes you wait forever for that bit of unknown magic.”
(Lady waiting to take a photo, girl standing, thoughtfully watching her. Dad, down the road, hand out, casually beckoning daughter.)
“This is pretty good. What does the photo have to be perfect?” Avalon asked.
(Girl leaning forward, one eye scrunched shut, mouth straining, to look into camera’s viewer.)
“My, if I have to tell you that, maybe there’s not much I can tell you at all! The perfect photo is EVERYTHING!” the lady smiled.
“Oh,” said Avalon.
(We can see what the camera can, the valley, the long grass and empty road, the distant storm, old shed, and sunlight and shadow from the hill.)
“That’s something special… I’m not sure what you mean, but it all sound awfully hard,” she smiled, skipping down the road. “Thanks anyway!”
(Lady waving good-bye as girls runs happily after father who’s hand is tilted, ready to hold hers.)
“No,” said the photographer. “Thank you.”
(Same beautiful image of valley and road, but now farmer is walking on road with daughter skipping alongside him, giving photo a centre. CLICK.)