Sometimes the right moment is when the subject's face has that animated look, often it's when the morning or evening light is just right, or it could be when all the elements in the frame work together to give the perfect composition. Photographers know these times, episodes which are sometimes fleeting and require the press of the shutter to be perfectly timed - the "decisive moment".
But not all decisive moments work in this way. A while ago I walked past some exterior plywood that has, for a couple of years, filled the doorway of a large garage under slow construction. Work on it seems to have paused, and the plywood has gradually developed the patina of age. It had just stopped raining when I looked at the plywood and the wetness emphasised the grain. I liked the almost flower-like patterns and thought they'd make an interesting photograph. But, unusually for me, I didn't have a camera in my pocket.
I made a point of passing the plywood on a few subsequent occasions but it was either dry due to the absence of rain or the overhang of the doorway had prevented what rain there had been soaking into it. What was required was rain together with a northerly wind that would wet it and reveal those patterns. Finally, the other day I passed by after a night of such weather and took my photograph. I think it was worth waiting for the right moment. The knots and grain of the wood make it look like someone has painted semi-abstract flowers on the wood with a wet paintbrush and the green growth and odd blue spots look like a colour wash has been thinly laid over the surface.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 140mm (210mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On