I didn't take this photo. My friend Adam took this photo and I think it's just about perfect. It's me crashing a motorcycle on the Pan-American Highway. I think it's great for two reasons: (1) it's a priceless memory of an amazing trip and (2) it's a perfect example of how timing is crucial to a good photograph. Sometimes a great image is about lighting, sometimes it's about the interaction between the photographer and the subject, but sometimes, just sometimes, it's all about good timing. And for this one, Adam had it.
Let me set the scene: this was the tail-end of a trip to Ecuador. We had done some mountaineering in the Andes, visited Mitad del Mundo, drank Pilsner by the gallon and ate all manner of strange roasted meats on a stick. Like I said, it was an amazing trip. For one of our last days in the country, we rented motorcycles and road into the mountains to see the aftermath of a recent volcanic eruption. It was a great day and I wanted a picture of me to riding on the legendary Pan-American Highway to commemorate the occasion. Adam was, of course, happy to oblige.
I handed over my trusty Canon and went down the road to loop around past him. Adam waited for me to come cruising past, wind in my hair, the heroic traveller flying by on the iron steed. I had it all planned out. It was going to be a great picture, and Adam took that picture. Done. Cool. Most folk would have put the camera done at that point, but, knowing me better than I know myself, Adam kept the camera to his eye, ready for the aftermath of my triumphant driveby: the low speed, cart-wheeling dismount into the ditch. Turns out, that was the great picture. A real wall-hanger. All because of impeccable timing. Nice work, Adam.