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Monday, June 17, 2013

Street Photography

I love my Nikon D7000. I love it so much, I take it with me everywhere. And if you think that's an exaggeration, my wife and kiddos have nick-named my camera bag 'The Baby.' I get harassed going into stores sometimes, by Goon Squad security guards who think I'm bringing in a backpack to shoplift with. I hear a big dSLR is the wrong tool for street photography, but since I didn't get that memo until I already had a dSLR. My preferred lense is the 35mm, which factoring the crop is pretty much like a 50mm on a full frame camera, and I think the smallness of the lense helps keep my camera from looking too intimidating. Of course, the less intimidating Leica M9 costs like four times as much as my D7000, and is thus way out of my league. And in any case, I can't leave my camera out on my bike when I go into a store.

The security goober's idea is I let them keep my 'backpack' up front with them. But at a store like Sav-A-Lot or Dollar General, if I were to empty my camera bag of camera shit and remove my wallet, there is a better chance that Elvis and Jim Morrison will admit to still being alive and announce a joint comeback tour than that I could steal enough merchandise in that bag to come out ahead.

Which is to say, my fundamental distrust of these badged clowns is, I think, more valid than their distrust of the lunatic on a bicycle who thinks he can shop without an automobile.

The first time it happened, I caved and let them hold my bag behind the register at a Dollar General. The second time, I was on bike tour and the grocery store was pretty important to me. Plus, the goober didn't actually demand my bag, just followed me through the store to make sure I paid for everything I took.

The last time, the Sav-A-Lot, I gave their Barney Fife Wannabe my camera bag, finished my shopping, and while waiting in line realized, Wait: there are twenty women in here with purses and nobody says shit to them.

When I was just about up to the cashier myself after waiting in line, I decided I wasn't going to take this shit anymore. I'm an honest person, I work for a living, I don't steal shit. The main thing I'd come for, it was way cheaper at Sav-A-Lot than at the Walgreen's across the street, but there is how I deserve to be treated as a customer and as a human being.

I left my groceries on the conveyor and went up to the security goon's booth and said, "I'll just take my camera bag back. You don't say shit to all these women with their purses, so you just lost my business." I made a point of examining the contents of the bag before I left to make sure he knew I thought he was at least as likely to steal my camera or lenses as I was to steal some cut rate ground beef or bread.

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