Bill Dobbins-venice mirror-0147

When I was a young photographer, with photojournalism as my goal (before I discovered it was more exciting to shoot women and more lucrative to do advertising), I used to take my camera everywhere.  Always on the lookout for an interesting photograph.  But if you really work at it that approach is exhausting and if you are ever without your camera  you are nervous that something might happen and you’ll miss the chance to capture it.

Nowadays, I still like to do street photography.  But most of the time, what I do is simply give myself a personal assignment to go out and shoot whatever I find.  At the Santa Monica mall, Venice Beach, walking down an unfamiliar street, traffic at night – just go out “perambulating” (as Ringo would describe it), take a long my camera and see what happens.

It’s not as easy to do street photography as it was.  People are suspicious when you point a camera at them, there are all sorts of regulations regarding permits and security or police can mistake you for somebody with mischief in mind.

So I find a smaller camera than my big DSLRs, an iPad or even an iPhone can frequently be a better alternative.  The file sizes and resolution are fine for this kind of photography and you end up being more unobtrusive.

Of course, I have also mastered the art of shooting a photo of somebody, lowering the camera and immediately staring off  in the distance behind them as if the subject I was shooting was somewhere way back there.  It saves a lot of explanation.

But I do miss having a camera where the viewfinder (or ground glass) was on top of the camera so I could shoot without having to lift it up to my eye.  That can be done nowadays but not as easily or effectively.Image

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