Peripatetic. Flâneur. With camera
I spent a lot of time just wandering around my neighbourhood with whatever camera I'd just got second-hand. There were many good reactions when people saw a Rolleiflex or a 1930's folding camera, or anything that wasn't the usual big fuck-off DSLRs that tourists and photographers usually pointed at things. I'd shoot the film and go home to develop it there and then in my makeshift bathroom darkroom. Or try a new development technique. I couldn't wait to see the results.
If nothing else, it taught me a lot about composition and valuing
the shot. A roll of film is finite, especially 6x9.
The early 2000s and onwards was also memorably the beginning of the denormalisation of street photography. If you were pointing a camera at something you were at best a terrorist, worst a paedophile.
I was stopped and searched several times under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). I had a collection of Section 44 notices pinned to my noticeboard. Just for photographing in public places. It is
public space after all.
We are photographers not terrorists
is still relevant.
It only seemed to apply if you had a proper
camera... I (or anybody else) could scope out anywhere
with a mobile phone camera and Google Maps/Street View. Using a mobile is the new normal, pointing a camera is somehow aberrant. How did that happen?
I have nothing but contempt for such security theatre.