Speed without warning
With some movement, it’s not just the shutter speed you need to consider, but whether you’re able to catch it in time
One of the most critical things about speed is its onset: how fast or unexpectedly it comes upon you. Preparedness and anticipation are both key to dealing with this, but you don’t always get plenty of warning.
There are some moments that you can anticipate, yet, because of your viewpoint, give no warning for when to shoot. The shot on the right, taken in London’s Chinatown, features one of more than 80 fibreglass telephone boxes, commissioned as part of a citywide art project. In this case, there was a traditional red telephone box next to it, and I wanted to juxtapose the two. The viewpoint I chose gave a frame that was filled with phone boxes, and I felt it needed a passer-by to bring it to life. My vantage point, however, was dictated by the framing I wanted, and I had no way to see when someone might walk between the boxes. Fortunately, I had an assistant with me, and she stood to one side with a view of the gap between the boxes. Just 10 seconds after I had finalised my composition, she told me that someone was approaching, and I was ready to take the shot.
A real telephone box alongside a painted fibreglass version – but the camera position allowed no warning to catch a passer-by walking between them