Making Chores Another Street Photography Outing

If you're a photographer, you should carry your camera during your Point A's to Point B's.

Long story short, a dog pissed on my camera bag. I had to get a replacement. That meant a trip into town to Mumbai's camera gully to do some bargain-hunting. And yes, there are bargains to be had there for cameras, lenses, and accessories. Another story, perhaps?

Knowing this trip would run me into the 3+ hour range due to the world's most congested traffic, I decided to pack my wide angle lens to shoot some of the lanes and going ons in the camera gully. Unfortunately for me, Sunday proved to be when most shops were closed, which made for a lackluster camera crowd. I did take a few shots along the streets and markets after purchasing a new bag, although nothing really special came of it.

Coming to the point. I've learned a few years back that taking your main camera along during routine chores will sometimes produce great images. Okay, maybe not sometimes. Maybe pretty damned infrequently bordering on 'not usually.' But this doesn't mean that any serious photographer shouldn't be packing heat just in case he needs to take a shot. As bad as the analogy is (or as good!), having your camera with you is like a good self-defense strategy.

Case in point. I recall one morning when I was sitting having breakfast with my wife and friends up in beautiful Manali, a Himalayan resort town. I actually had my camera with me - but it was stored away in my camera bag, which amounts to the same thing as not taking my camera with me. In what I would describe as a magical moment, a monk peeked his head into the arched doorway of the restaurant to check out what was going on. I looked down at my camera bag...there's no way in hell I was going to get the shot, because a moment later, the monk vanished into the ether.

And what a shot it would have been! A beautifully arched entrance; the color, if I recall correctly, was even complimentary to the monk's magnificent maroon robe. There was just enough of him peeking in, his hand may have even been resting on the off-green wall. I couldn't have posed him better!

Addendum: if you're carrying your camera, and if there's even the remotest of chance that something could transpire even while you're eating - have your camera ready at all times.

There are two benefits of packing your camera with you during any routine Point A to Point B chores. You'll get some additional shots. And like on any potential outing, you may get the chance at a Nat Geo Moment.

The shot used above was taken just after I had purchased a new camera bag. I was waiting for my cab and framing up the distant Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus station. It's not a fantastic image by any stretch, but if not good enough for fine art then good enough for content.

As I've taken up the reins of daily blogging once again, I'm in constant need of fresh images. I supply most of these for myself, thanks in large part to taking pictures whenever I can - even while doing chores. I think it's important to find valid reasons for taking your camera with you wherever you go. Maybe a 'photographer should always carry his camera wherever he goes' piece of advice isn't a good enough reason alone to convince you? Fair enough. But there should be a good reason out there to embrace. If anything, discover it.

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