This photo is of one of my hitches from my hitchhiking journey around Australia (1998) photographing everyone who gave me a lift and writing about each hitch (http://soididbook.blogspot.com.au/).
This bloke, Tim, was my 31st hitch. I was hitchhiking from Uluru to Melbourne (my team was storming into the finals...more on that later) and he picked me up on the outskirts of Adelaide. It was a good hitch as he was heading all the way to Melbourne - score!
Because I was going to be with Tim all day I didn't stress too much about what I was going to do for a photo. I was looking forward to sitting back and chilling out. As the day progressed, though, I began to wonder what I was going to do. Nothing was jumping out at me. We stopped off somewhere (can't remember where) and I tried a few ideas. They looked like rubbish through the camera and, even without the ability to see what I'd taken, I knew they were crap. While I'd been with Tim most of the day and we were pretty relaxed in each other's company, I didn't want to hold him up while I tried to come up with ideas for a photo.
We got back into the car and headed off. Among other things, the weather was pretty ordinary...we were in Victoria after all! It was cold and drizzly, often rainy. That, as much as anything, was reason enough not to waste Tim's time trying to take his photo. He sure as hell wasn't going to want to keep getting out of the warmth of the car and into the shitty weather to have his photo taken.
We kept motoring down the highway, chatting as we went. After an hour or so since my ordinary attempt at taking a photo, Tim took out a banana, partially peeled it and started eating it as he drove.
I took no notice of what he'd done and we kept talking. Then I looked across and saw what you see here i.e the beautiful soft light falling on the lovely composition of the hand on the wheel holding the banana.
I immediately knew that was the photo I was after and reached for my camera bag between my feet. Tim was a hungry boy and started to go for another munch on the banana. I nearly jumped out of my seat as the banana moved towards his mouth.
'Stop!' I said. 'Don't take another bite.'
He didn't know what the hell was going on so I told him and made him put his hand back on the steering wheel. He jokingly told me he was hungry and was keen to finish his banana. I got my camera out and fired off no more than half a dozen frames (I always kept my shooting to a minimum when I was hitching). Tim was then free to finish his banana and I could relax the rest of the way to Melbourne. Even without the ability to see what I'd taken, I knew it was a good shot.
I wasn't bothered by the fact I couldn't see Tim's face. The stipulation I'd set out for myself was that I had to get part or all of my hitch and part or all of their vehicle in shot - hand, banana and steering wheel was good enough for me.
As mentioned before, the reason I'd hitched to Melbourne was because my footy team (North Melbourne) was storming into the finals and were sure to make the grand final, which they did. The only problem was they lost and I sat in a pub in South Melbourne crying into my beer as they kicked themselves out of a victory - 8 goals, 22 points (including 2 goals, 11 points in the 2nd quarter...it still digs deep).
Gear used - Nikon FM2, Nikkor 24mm f2.8 lens, Neopan 1600ISO film, 1/125 f5.6