I was working for the Courier Mail and a journo and I were heading out west - I can't remember exactly where and what for - when we drove over a rise in the road.
Way ahead in the distance we could see a group of people walking along the road. Considering we were in the middle of nowhere, this seemed a bit odd. We were belting along so slowed down and, as we drove past, we saw a young guy and girl walking ahead of an older bloke pushing a big red 'thing'.
We didn't know what was going on but we decided we should investigate. By now we had sped past them, so we turned the car around and drove back past them, pulling over a few hundred metres ahead of them.
We got out and I grabbed one of my cameras with a 300mm lens on it. I got a couple of okay photos of them all heading along the road but, to be honest, the guy and girl got in the way of the more interesting aspect of the photo - the old bloke pushing the big red 'thing'.
As the group neared, the guy and girl slowed and the journo asked them what they were doing. It turned out they were on a charity walk from Roma to Brisbane, a distance of 475km, or around a six hour drive, for red nose day, and the red thing being pushed was a big, round red 'nose' with a handle attached so it could be pushed along the road.
We instantly knew we'd stumbled across a decent yarn and started the process of interviewing the young couple. I looked behind them at the older bloke pushing the red nose and knew that an open stretch of road like that we were on would lend itself to some good photos.
The old bloke neared us and the journo peeled off to ask him a couple of questions.
"I can't talk," said the old bloke as the journo asked his first question. "I don't want to stop and break my momentum." The old bloke didn't even look at the journo as he spoke, so focused was his concentration.
I was hoping to get a shot of all three of the party walking along the road but the old bloke's determination not to break his stride pretty much put paid to that and, not for the first time in my career, I had to come up with a quickfire Plan B.
I stood there as the journo turned back to the couple and resumed asking them questions. I figured we were going to have to drive well ahead of the old bloke and get a shot of them all powering along. As I mulled over this idea I looked back at the old bloke heading off into the distance.
Normally photographing people front on is the done thing when it comes to news photography. However, in this case, the journey was the story and not so much the old bloke. Looking at him walking away from me made sense - with the road stretching away in front of him, it implied many things - and instinctively I raised the camera and started firing. I kept firing and let the old bloke grow smaller and smaller in the frame.
By now the journo had finished with the couple and I suggested we get in the car and race ahead of the old bloke. I think we even gave the couple a lift so they could be in shot also.
As planned, we sped ahead of the old bloke and I jumped out. I grabbed my camera with the 300mm lens and started firing. It looked okay but I knew in the back of my mind I liked the other shot better.
As the old bloke neared I changed cameras and grabbed the young couple, placing them by the side of the road so I could get them in shot as the old bloke walked past.
I fired off several frames of the 'group' photo but all the time I knew the best shot was the original one. It was simple and said it all - less is more...well and truly.
Normally you gave the office a choice of photos, horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait), in order to give them an option depending on the shape of the space they had on the page. However, from memory, I don't think I even gave them an option. I knew what the best pic was and that was all I gave them (I may have begged a little to make sure that photo used).
Gear used - Nikon D100 DSLR, Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens, 400ISO, 1/500 sec f8.