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The Shot I Didn’t Take

February 22, 2011

Image from “Just Stickem Up”

The Great One, #99 Wayne Gretzky said it best and hockey players and sport aficionado’s have been repeating it ever since – “You miss 100% of the shots you never take”.  This is also true for photography, as I was reminded of yesterday.

Monday’s are my day off, so normally I spend them running around doing errands and such. Yesterday I was off to pick up wedding invitation proofs and meet M. for lunch. On way downtown, in front of a huge, old, brick-covered apartment building, my bus passed by a parked yellow VW bug. I love VW bugs, and they always make me smile, seeing one in yellow just made that smile twice as big. I wanted to take a photo of it. I even had my 35mm film camera in my purse. All I had to do was get off the bus.

I thought about it as the bus passed the VW bug.

I thought about it as we pulled up the next stop.

I thought about it as we stopped.

I thought about it as people got on and people got off.

I thought about it for that few seconds the bus doors remained open before they closed.

And then we pulled away.

I told myself that I would get off the bus on the way home and take photographs of it then. But I knew that it wasn’t to be. I knew the likelihood of it still being parked there was very slim. And sure enough on my way home it was gone. In my mind’s eye I could still see the photos I wished to take, with its bright yellow colour cutting through the sombre grey of the surrounding scene like a bold beam of sunshine. I could imagine a close up of its distinctive headlights, or the Volkswagen brand. In my mind I can see these perfect shots, and maybe they would have been that wonderful. Now I’ll never know, because I didn’t take the shot.

I find sometimes the shots I don’t take stick in my head longer than the ones I do. Do you find this? It’s as though my mind has spent so much time planning the shot that it takes up more of my memory than the shot I just took, and because the shot isn’t taken yet, I have to keep hold of the idea, in case the opportunity presents itself again.

This is a reminder to myself, that next time, I should just get off the bus.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2011 4:38 pm

    I do that all the time! Sometimes I am in a hurry or self-conscious or whatever so I walk or ride or drive on by and then I can’t stop thinking about it! I think there is a blog about “the photos I didn’t take” or something like that…I’ll have to look it up again.

    But remember, sometimes it’s okay just to see things and remember them without snapping a photo. 🙂

  2. February 23, 2011 7:56 am

    The blog I was thinking of…http://www.unphotographable.com/

  3. Ashley Erin permalink*
    February 23, 2011 10:44 am

    That’s such an awesome blog Juli! Thanks for pointing it out to me!

    Yeah, I know that sometimes it’s good to just take in the moment, but other times I know I just should kick my self-doubt and take the picture. 😉

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has these moments.

  4. February 25, 2011 7:21 am

    Ashley, this is happening to me less and less these days. But I have to admit I saw this wonderful shot on my way back from the store. I will go back tomorrow same time and hope the light is similar.

  5. Ashley Erin permalink*
    February 28, 2011 5:16 pm

    Thanks Wil! 🙂

  6. March 3, 2011 10:03 am

    I absolutely love this, and thank you for a much needed reminder!

  7. March 5, 2011 10:52 am

    oh yes Ashley, so true, the ones I don’t take always haunt me.

  8. March 5, 2011 2:15 pm

    I can relate for sure. I love your words of just get off the bus. Wonderful post.

  9. Ashley Erin permalink*
    March 8, 2011 2:46 pm

    Lisa, Suvarna and Alexandria – Thanks so much for commenting! It’s so nice to know that others are in the same situations sometimes.

  10. May 18, 2011 1:49 am

    Get off the bus get off the bus! I probably would of thought about it too much and stayed on it too!

    Thanks for the twitter follow x

  11. Ashley Erin permalink*
    May 18, 2011 12:43 pm

    Caroline – Thanks for the comment! Sometimes thinking too much is my utter down fall. 😉

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