Camera = Public Safety?

For the sake of this story, there are two things you need to know about me.

• I take my camera everywhere I go

• While I wish photography was my day job – it isn’t

Recently, I noticed that my Nikon’s CCD was dirtier than a college dorm room. Since I no longer had the desire to remove copious amounts of dust from my shots in post production, I decided that my camera deserved a respite from the daily routine. After all, what’s a few days? I’ve been dragging that camera around faithfully every day for two years, and had yet to witness anything even slightly worthwhile in my travels (set aside from a fender bender or two).

The first day, on the way to work, I pass by a store whose front window had been smashed out. The police had the area sectioned off, and they were investigating the break-in. Neat. I’d never been present for that before. Instinctively, I began to reach down to the passenger side floorboard to retrieve my sling bag… of course nothing was there. Shame, I thought.

Day two… taking the highway on an indomitably sunny day, I happened to see the oddest message I’ve ever witnessed our digital traffic signs… “Tunnel traffic is stopped due to heavy fog.” In my neck of the woods, especially given the circumstances, witnessing a menacing ‘early afternoon fog’ on a bright sunny day is about as likely as Bigfoot openly sunbathing at the beach. In my mind’s eye, I can still see that beautifully ironic composition clearly. Ironic and noteworthy – hardly Pulitzer stuff I’m talking about here… still… a shame.

Day three… driving with purpose this time, I’ve decided that I’ve missed enough. I’m heading to the camera store to get what I need to put myself back in business. One more day without the camera, but what are the odds of seeing more ‘out of the norm’ things – enough’s enough, right? In my last sans-camera round trip, I pass by a smoldering Salvation Army store with firefighters on the scene, and perhaps a mile down the road there is a car smashed into the corner of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Reportedly it later ignited, but didn’t stick around, because with my luck on these days gone by, I knew it would either explode or they’d find aliens in the trunk (or both).

Luckily for my neighbors and cohabitants in this region, my camera has once again taken its place by my side. Poised, it is ready to cover all of the world’s irony and drama one snap at a time. Predictably – that also means that my surroundings are now completely safe and (sigh) terminally boring once again. I’m more compelled than ever to make sure I’m always equipped. After all – I have a public to protect.

Keep the gear close, and happy shooting.

Photo credits: Crystal Craig, Davewhitney, Kineticimagery, Pn_photo.

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May 21, 2008


Great article and well observed. It seems to be one of lifes annoying coincidences that I never have my camera when something dramatic is happening!

May 20, 2008


Thank you for the feedback! It was my first blog anywhere, so it's nice to hear something. Very nice portfolio. I see you shoot with a Nikon as well, or at least you did when you filled out your profile. Any ambitions of moving to the D300? I would sure love to get one. One day, I hope my sales will support my habit.



May 20, 2008


very witty! and a great lesson, kinda.. looking forward to the next article

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