Recently I was driving through Braidwood on my way to meet the manager of Braidwood Servicemens Club, Barry Clinch. We’re organising a Life’s Big Questions workshop series in May.
The trip to Braidwood usually takes an hour; this day it took longer because Turpentine Road was being graded and it was drizzling. I called Barry to let him know, and he told me to relax, slow down and get there when I do. So I did.
As I cruised down Wallace Street in Braidwood I saw a convoy of Taree Historic Motor Club members pulled over on the side of the road.
The cars looked so wonderful, colourful, shiny and smart. They beckoned to me, practically screamed at me… snap.
Now I had my camera in the car because it’s rare I travel without it, especially when I’m on the road going where I don’t go very often. It’s wonderful to document the landscape changing with the seasons, the extensive farms, native animals, the rivers and the people.
This day the trip offered me a bevy of beautiful cars all the way from Taree. I drove past, rubber-necking out the window.
As I drove past a voice inside my head started shouting at me, "Sarah, stop and snap! Photograph those beauties, capture this moment, take advantage, if you will, of this wonderful opportunity to contribute to ABC Open" - for, you see, Open’s photography project Snapped presents a new challenge each month and March’s theme was My Ride.
I did a u-turn, leapt from my car, grabbed my camera and a handful of business cards, and strolled across the road to get a better look.
Several of the drivers and their passengers mistook me for a Braidwood Times journalist. I corrected them, gave them a card and ever so politely asked if I could photograph them with their car.
It’s always a little bit daunting asking a total stranger if you can photograph them. I’m getting better at it. Having an opportunity to photograph something spontaneously can often raise serious questions as to whether you should bother. We all know that in these days of disposable digital documentation we throw away so many more images than we keep.
As I was on my way elsewhere, and running late, I was short on time but I am so glad that I stopped to chat and photograph these terrific cars with their owners. The owners posed, the cars gleamed and I didn't get run over as pranced about snapping to my hearts content.
In my opinion it's always better to try to capture an image if an opportunity arises. Just remember to use your best manners and stay in touch with the talent.
That way you can snap, save and share with ABC Open your impromptu activity - pleasing everyone, even Barry, who didn't complain when I finally arrived and agreed that finding historic cars in Braidwood was quite a scoop.