Additional weapon in photography

I made this image under an overcast sky on a late afternoon in the Old Quarter in Hanoi. There was just on shaft of light coming from an overhead streetlamp, which didn’t illuminate the scene. As I was looking around and shooting different sort of vegetables in the nearby market booths I saw suddenly in the corner of my eye a woman walking along with a heavy white sack on her shoulder.

She was talking with some friends at the corner and than approaching the street I was photographing in now for about an hour. She turned to the right side of the street and I imagined her walking into the shaft of the streetlamp and thought, that the white sack most probably would reflect some more light on her face.

Some of the merchant and customers in the Old Quarter are not very keen on being photographed all the time so I was just trying to get in a good position without alerting her and waiting for her to step in the spot of light. When she did, everything turned out as I had visualized before.

She was in the light for only a few seconds and then everything shifted back to an overcast scene. If I hadn’t anticipated the possibility of the “natural” reflector she carried on her back I would have lost this shot.

Anticipation: expectation, premonition, or foresight sometimes essential and additional weapons for a photographer.