I am impatient. It's something I have learnt to accept but also try to practice at. No light meter and no faffing. The only still moment where time escapes is when my eye reaches the finder; then I am patient.
The garden is a small hill of lawn that terminates in a shed ( actually a wonderful darkroom). A washing line is all that breaks up the scene until darkness hits to infinity. It's a crisp and smokey bonfire night and the cold is awakening.
"What ASA are you on?"
"Um 400 I think but I'll just hold still and go wide open"
"No you'll need some more light for sure, you ll get nothing out here and the head lamps wont do much"
"I know, I want that effect, I just want them to paint your face and hands a little". Holding the camera up I can feel myself growing impatient. I want to press the pretty button!!
He clambers into the garage and pulls out a lamp with a spaghetti knot lead. I hold one end and breathe patiently as we solve the puzzle. Once free we plug it in for bounce.
"Yeah that'll do I say" Now definitely not ready to get a light meter out etc.... he takes a reading and does some maths.
" I think it will hit the background," I say
"Of course not" he explains. I take the shot.
He was right of course! +1 stop and still an abyss of black. However, those tiny features thankfully did come out. The insect-like appearance of my father hovers amongst the black of the night.
After a smashing local firework display, I watch the thousands of people walk back; just like ants.