I am a pretty shy individual. Oftentimes this is a hurdle, but in photography I find it to be a huge benefit. I am a people watcher. I keep my eyes open all the time and take in everything, trying to anticipate what they are going to do next. Many of my favorite photos are taken while I am in “fly on the wall” mode. Having red hair and carrying a couple of DSLR bodies (one with a long lens) and other gear probably makes me less stealthy than I think I am. Even with all that going on, though, after a while on a shoot people tend to forget about you, making it possible to fade into the background.
In China last year I was very fortunate to be in a remote area for a festival. At first, I was drawn to the colorfully dressed locals and photographed them. After wandering around for a while, though, I noticed this makeshift bridge extending over the water. A few of its boards had fallen into the water. For a while, nobody was on the bridge. I got to thinking about what people would do once they did get there. It would definitely make for an interesting photograph at some point.
I planted myself in a prime spot to observe and just waited. Sure enough people both old and young crossed the bridge at some point. You can guess who shrugged their shoulders and went back the way they came and who was up for the challenge. These two colorfully dressed girls came up to the break in the bridge and the it became a fun game for them: pulling each other, lending helping hands, and leaping back and forth. As they jumped from side to side, I shot away with my camera on continuous mode, trying to time it right to capture peak moments in the action. In all, I shot about 50 photos of these girls using a 70-200mm lens on my D800.