I thought I would begin my website blogs with one of my most popular images, "Red Umbrella In the Piazza".
This photograph was taken in 2005 in Florence, Italy. As usual, I went out to photograph early in the morning. Walking from my hotel towards the Ponte Vecchio and Piazza Della Signoriaa cold rain began. Then the debate began - Should I return to the hotel? What should I do? I went to the portico of the Uffizi (which looks out over the piazza) for shelter. Looking out over the piazza I noticed the lights and reflections on the wet stones and watched the people passing by on their way to work. Posted on the walls under the portico were numerous signs stating no photography allowed (the statues on the portico). Guards were standing around watching me as I began to set up my tripod and as I set up facing out into the piazza their concerns disappeared.
I focused on a small section of pavement that had color, light and rendered the details of the stone. My intentions were to wait and watch as people passed through the frame and capture their movement with a slow enough shutter speed to cause blur and yet retain the detail in the pavement. I was hoping for the right person to come bicycling through the scene. Circumstances did not seem to be working for me in this regard when I noticed this woman walking towards the frame with a red umbrella. The wishes and hopes began... please come through this frame. This was my first venture into the digital age and I was travelling with a small, high-end (at the time) point and shoot camera, a 7MP Canon G6. The camera had slow reaction time so I knew my timing had to be impeccable, I had one chance, one shot. Just as she started to enter the frame I released the shutter and voila! Careful planning and pure serendipity came together to create this shot.
I often cite this image when discussing technology and gear. This is one of my best selling images and it was photographed with a 7MP point and shoot camera. I have sold numerous prints in 24" x 30" size and it looks great. It is a lesson in the fact that gear is not the most important equipment a photographer possesses. An eye for composition, skill, knowledge, patience and being at the right place at the right time - that is the equipment a photographer must utilize. The rest is just mechanics and technology.