THE MOMENT...

 © Claire Oldman

© Claire Oldman

On Boxing Day there was an older lady sitting at a café terrace in rue de Birague drinking coffee, smoking and laughing. She was wearing a camel coat, had slightly bouffed hair à la Deneuve and thick black sunglasses, her face held towards the sun. She and everything around her was shrouded in a thick cloud of curling smoke, caught in the low, strong winter sunlight which bathed the street golden.

So as not to stick a camera in her face, I paused a moment, pointing my camera straight ahead to take a snap of the entire scene on my AE-1 as I passed, with the cafe/sunlight/lady/smoke on the right. Then felt pretty smug in the knowledge I'd just taken one of my best ever photos. I congratulated myself on having seen the moment and been fast enough to capture it and quickly finished the last few frames so I could get the film developed. When I rewound the film, it snapped and the left hand side of the picture is all that's left.

 © Claire Oldman

© Claire Oldman