A man in a stripey jumper walks into a shaft of sunlight

The great thing about cities and tall buildings is that you get shafts of light – natural spotlights. When I spot them, I stop and wait for someone interesting to walk into them – setting the exposure to be ready to press the shutter at exactly the right moment.

Sometimes that wait can prove fruitless and I get fed up waiting and move on to see if I can get something better. But at other times, the perfect person walks into the shot – or in the case of this shot, a person wearing the perfect clothes. This man walked into shot in the perfect position. If he’d been a little to one side or the other, the line of shadow wouldn’t have fallen down the centre. He could have walked through the shadow and I wouldn’t have got him at all. Or I might have moved my camera and snapped a very quick shot but it wouldn’t have worked in the way that this shot does.

As Trente Parke says: “Light turns the ordinary into the magical.”*


*Street Photography Now, published by Thames and Hudson

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