My Best Picture - Douglas Ljungkvist
Attached is what I consider my best photo. It may not be my favorite, as that changes with time, but objectively I do think it's my best. Which is interesting as my work is usually more about mood, atmosphere, and formal aspects, than decisive moments.
I was photographing some Arabic kids playing football on the street in the Barcelona "El Raval" neighborhood when this old man walked by took the ball and started playing with it. Normally people, especially elderly, would just walk by or be annoyed about the street play. But not this guy.
What works for me about the photo is the graphic and urban backdrop, how the young man is leaning against the wall in the background and watching the old mans skill. The ambiguity of their relationship adds to the mystery. Most probably they are strangers. I like to imagine that the old man is a famous football player from days gone by. He shows a certain flair both in his body language and the way he dresses. The ball is colored with the Barcelona colors adding a strong sense of place.
It all came together at the same time and was over so fast. Luck? Sure, but also being at the crossroads of preparation and anticipation that created a true decisive and non repeatable moment.
© Douglas Ljungkvist