If you have ever attended a workshop of mine, there is one rant you will always hear and will likely always remember. I hate white cars.
They are the bane of my photographic existence having ruined what might have otherwise been a wonderful photograph. The presence of a white vehicle in the background is a big distraction. Its brightness draws the eye away from the main subject, competing for the viewer’s attention. I have had enough images ruined in just this way that I have often become hyper conscience of such a presence in my compositions.
If I see it, I will often shift my composition to eliminate it or just bide my time and wait for it to leave the scene. However there are some instances when the moment reveals itself and I just have to make the shot.
While sitting in this Paris cafe, I noticed the fellow on the right about to leave on his scooter. His red helmet and yellow socks immediately drew my attention. I knew that I needed something else on the left hand side of the frame to balance the composition and hoped that the ideal subject would make its presence known. It did in the form of a woman with brilliant red socks riding by on her bicycle. I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect.
And then the van shows up and ruins everything.
I didn’t even see it as I made the shot. I was trying to capture the frame before the fellow with the scooter disappeared from the scene. I did everything else right in terms of framing and timing, but….that damn white fan.
Converting it to black and white doesn’t fix it, because it’s all that red mirroring that make the shot. And I’m not the kind of photographer that will Photoshop out of the scene. So, the image serves as yet another example of what time to keep an eye out for when it comes to distracting elements that can ruin a photograph.
If I were king, I would make a law. No damn white cars.