I was recently at the Brighton Biennial, some fantastic work and an amazing event, and saw a show called “The Shot I Never Forgot”. What was interesting was the range of personal shots and stories, not always in the photographers normal style, but with some interesting insights into why the shot was taken.
There was also an invitation to submit more (http://theshot.ourworldmyeye.com/). So I thought I would.
This picture was taken in Keighley in Yorkshire back in the late 1970s. I had been taking landscape pictures and was just about to head back to London as the light was getting very flat and the contrast was poor (even for Pan-F film). I turned around and coming towards me was a man carrying a cat passing some children playing. I had just one chance at the shot.
He told me that it was his cat, but the harder economic times in the north meant he had less work and could no longer afford the rent and was moving to a cheaper place. The new place would not allow pets and he was giving his cat to a friend. He thought the cat might be happier in the new place, although he was sad to lose her.
There was a gentle warmth in all that he said, a resignation to the inevitable, a personal loss in the teeth of a major economic decline.
This shot I will never forget.