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The right moment

Today was an unfortunate day of stranger hunting. I headed into the city around midday to catch up with a friend. On the train in I stood, with my bike, next to a European backpacker who I'd have liked to ask for a photo. But I try not to pressure people into it and if she'd said no we would've had to stand there awkwardly for who knows how many stops. So I let it pass. In the city I did photograph a few people but they were hard to find and unfortunately not worth posting.

 

After catching up with my friend I headed home on my bike, deciding to skip the train and ride the whole way. I came to a classy hotel called 'Royce' that I thought might make a cool background for some photos of a friend of mine of the same name. So I took some test shots and then waited around hoping to find a stranger. There was a cabby near me that would've made for an awesome shot but he was on the phone and I didn't want to interrupt. Then Kiwi walked up, McDonalds in hand. After shooting him I decided to try and find the source of his desserts.

 

The McDonalds was just around the corner and as I went in I spotted a girl out the front who reminded me of the backpacker earlier in the day. She looked up but didn't show any sign of recognition so I put it out of my mind and concentrated on the menu. From inside I could see here where I ate and decided that she was worth shooting, even if she wasn't the girl from earlier. Once I finished I got out my camera and headed outside to where she sat at her laptop, making use of the free wifi.

 

When I asked for her photo she wanted to know what it was for. I took a seat across the table from her and explained I was trying to get 100 photos of 100 different strangers in 100 days. She gave her permission and I started taking the shots, still seated. When I checked the back of my display after the first shot I was pretty happy with the dark background and bokeh. The well lit restaurant window gave some wonderfully soft light from behind where I sat. As I shot we talked a little. She told me she arrived in Melbourne today and that she's originally from Hamburg, Germany. When I was done I thanked her and headed off to get my bike and head home.

 

Walking past her with my bike my curiosity got the better of me and I asked down to her "Could I have caught a train with you earlier today?"

"Maybe..." she replied "Ooh! Yes! I remember that bike! My friend is looking for a helmet. But all the ones she can find make her look stupid."

"Haha. Yeah I think it's always the case. Mine makes me look stupid too."

"Well it looks good on the bike." She said, referring to my helmet, still clipped to the frame.

 

We went on to speak a bit about her travells. I suggested some places in Melbourne that she should visit and she told me that she'd come here from Perth, which she loved. I offered to give her my flickr URL so that she could see how the photo turns out, thinking that she'd type it into her laptop that was open in front of her. Instead she rummaged through her bag and pulled out a notepad and pen to write it down. When I chuckled, at how much more organised she was than me, she asked "What so funny?". I shook my head and wrote down the address.

 

This shot was taken 7 hours and several kilometers from where I originally spotted her. At a place neither of us had ever been before.

 

This is the fifty fifth portrait of my attempt at the 100 strangers project.

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Taken on January 22, 2011