Photo Issues

A few weeks ago I was in London for the day. For the first time … ever I was in London for no particular reason: no work, no meetings – I was just there. So, I decided to take my camera and have a wander.

Here’s the problem: despite London’s beautiful historic architecture, its wonderful city streets and its varied colours, characters and scenery, I took precisely two photos that day. One was of Blackfriars Bridge. The other was of the same bridge, taken two feet to the left.

Why? Well, I can be quite a surprisingly bashful person with a camera in hand. While I enjoy taking photos of people and places, I really don’t like being out in public with my camera. It makes me shy and I prefer to hide away in the safety of recesses and corners (which makes me look more like a stalker….). While I’ve become more confident over the years I’m still a little shy and very rarely pluck up the courage to take photos of strangers (or even of scenes where strangers just happen to be in-shot).

Despite being 6′-2″ and, well, large, I was actually quite worried about being mugged, pick-pocketed or otherwise the subject of casual street crime. I don’t know whether I was being daft or not, but I felt genuinely vulnerable with the camera round my neck.

My camera bag is a standard camera ruck-sack from Lowepro. It is not a convenient loader in that you have to take it off and lie it flat to put anything in, but storage-wise it suits me fine. The camera’s a Canon 350D so fairly big – it’s not a pocketable point & shoot by any stretch of the imagination, so it’s either around my neck and useable, or in the back and not.

So here’s my poser to you. If you take photos, how do you deal with this sort of thing? Were you originally shy, and did you find a particular way to overcome your fears? Am I being overly worried about walking around London with a DSLR slung over my neck?