Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1998/12/02

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Subject: [Leica] Street Photography & "Theft"
From: Paul Schiemer <>
Date: Wed, 02 Dec 1998 08:21:42 -0500

Just got back from an extensive trip to Southern Asia/Himalaya.
Red dot around my neck ALL the time (not to mention DVC video in one
hand, a 645 in the other & fat camera bag over my shoulder.)
Shot about 1,500 transparencies, two hours of video, and thirty+ rolls
of B&W 220.

Never had a problem with someone stealing my camera (and no black tape
Usually asked if I could shoot if someone was in frame, but still
obtained candid images (ask me how.)  Some shots got that posed look,
but keepers were always nearby in sequence.

Don't think it takes any particular possession of anatomy to do it
right, nor do I think a shot from the hip is any less a 'photograph'. 
To make such a differentiation is obtuse.
While I may not be looking through the finder at the moment of exposure
I KNOW what is in it.  

Example;  from a seated position I obtained the exposure reading, set
the speed and aperture; but I needed to be about two or three feet to
the right, and down about two feet, to make it a really interesting
framing.  No need to reposition myself, I determined focus and just put
the camera in my right hand, fingers behind and beneath- thumb on top
and its' tip on the shutter release... click.
Didn't have to swing my gonads formidably, nor did I have to wear a
special hat that proclaimed me a 'photographer extraordinaire'.
I got the shot, it looks like a million bucks, and my great 'eye' wasn't
near the viewfinder.  [imagine that?!]

To pontificate otherwise is just a whole lot of hot air.
Good photography has little or nothing to do with what goes on behind
the lens (nor what lens or what camera for that matter.)  It is, in the
final, absolute analysis what remains before the viewer after it has
been printed or projected.
Little slices of time pasted on a wall or in a book.  You either like
them or not- but that is all that matters, the resultant image.
If I was standing on my head naked in the middle of a street, camera
attached to my feet and a cable release strung down to my nose to trip
when I faked a sneeze, what matter that if the image is good?  
Zip, thatís what.  [And I venture a guess nobody could tell if I was
wearing shoes or not either!]