A few weeks ago I was in Bristol with my family. Tracey, my other half, had an appointment at the eye hospital.
My son has terminal cancer and needs to use a wheelchair to get any real distance outside the house. As we only had about 10 minutes to get from the car park to the hospital, Tracey headed off while I got the wheelchair out of the car. Rhys and I followed behind at our own pace.
Walking down from the Galleries down the hill through Broadmead towards the hospital I noticed a few homeless people taking refuge in a doorway. As we reached the bottom of the hill my attention was drawn to the opposite side of the road.
There lying on the ground was someone who looked like he was passed out from drinking, a bottle clutched in his hand. The majority of people just walked passed him. I assume that seeing someone like that is such a common event around there that people don’t pay it any attention.
One person, however, did stop. A cyclist. He knelt down and I watched him speak to the guy, checking that he was OK.
It was at that point, as I was watching the two interact in the middle of the busy street that I wished I had my camera readily available. With my hands holding the wheelchair I didn’t even have the chance to get out my phone.
Even now, several weeks on, the image haunts me. I’m sure that it wouldn’t have been the best photo in the world but it would have been one that spoke far more than any I’ve taken to-date. And I missed it.
A few years ago I received a compact camera as a Christmas present. Sitting here writing this the camera is on charge. It’s small enough that I can carry it on me at all times. It’s not going to capture really detailed images and I’ll be limited with what control I have over the photos I take, it really is just a point and click job, but it will hopefully mean that the next time I see a scene like that I won’t miss the opportunity.