It's a warm Monday morning and I have been busy for the last couple of hours on the new website. I have most of it done, but I am still preparing the photo galleries. As I was doing that I was reminded of this photo.
This was across the river from Luang Prabang in Laos. I had just taken a canoe across the river and was walking away from the river when I saw this young girl coming towards me. She seemed to be so deep in thought and oblivious to all around her as she made her way down to the river. I only had about 5 seconds to get this photo so I had to work really fast! Fortunately, I had the right lens on my camera already, but from the angle I was standing her face was not as clearly revealed and you could see someone walking just a few feet behind her in the field of view. I quickly took one shot from that location knowing that it wasn't ideal, but I was afraid that if I moved before taking it the moment would be lost forever. Once I had that one shot (with the other person behind) though I quickly shifted my position a couple of steps, all the while hoping she wouldn't suddenly notice me and change her expression, and from that new position I had time to just get one more shot before the person walking behind came into the field of view again and the young girl noticed me and looked my way. Even now when I see this photo I am transported back there and still wondering what she is thinking about. Maybe it something deep and mystical or maybe something as simple as wondering why her mother made her go down to the river for water instead of her sister. :-)
So much of travel photography is just like that. Serendipity plays a large role, but you have to help it along by spending a lot of time out there with your camera. While travelling I spend much of my time wandering around with my eyes open looking for moments like these to be preserved.