OLD LADY IN CAR ©1979
It was a hot sweltering day in July when I pulled into an antique auto show in Bridgewater, Virginia. This small burg is located near Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley.
I spotted Mrs. Williams sitting in a vintage motorcar. Actually, I spotted her through an open window in the car next to hers. I thought her face was beautiful, and I loved the way she was framed behind two cars. She seemed so far away in a dream world of her own.
The weather was so hot and humid that I had left my camera pack in the trunk of the car so I had to make a quick hike back and pick up my gear. Have you ever noticed how quick people are to notice someone setting up a tripod and camera? In this case, in order not to attract the subject's attention, I set up and framed my image through the open windows of the car that was parked next to hers. I figured I had better make this fast because I had already attracted the attention of some of the car buffs.
In an effort to protect my image, I pretended I was photographing something else. Inwardly, I just knew she was going to see the growing crowd and change her marvelous expression. Finally, after my camera was in place, I was able to capture the concept just as I hoped it would be. After I packed my gear away, I walked over to her car and informed her of what I had done because I needed her name and her assurance that she did not object. I also wished to thank her for holding still despite the commotion. At that point I became aware that she was totally blind and had never noticed.
The only thing she wondered about was why anyone would want to make a photograph of an old
woman. I had an easy answer for that comment. I told her that she would make a beautiful image sitting in that old car.
This image has taken it's share of awards including a grand prize in a National Nostalgia Contest put on by the Professional Photographers of America. It is hard to believe that this took place thirty years ago to the month.