Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Random things I like, pts 1 / 2

1. When couples stop you in the street and ask if you'd mind taking a photo of them. Any couple that asks this gets automatic points for sweetness - not everyone is so brazen about their affection for one another, and it displays a real buoyancy not just to want to be snapped together, but to invite a stranger (ok, me) briefly into your closed circle to perform that duty for you. I think that's the bit I like best: being included in them. One of the pair (usually the guy if it's a straight couple) shows you which button to press, then they arrange themselves, smiling with varying degrees of self-consciousness, and you become briefly privy to their rituals of intimacy.

But I hate the bit where you give the camera back. Then it's over. I'd like instead to volunteer to accompany them for the rest of their day, photographing them as they walk, talk, eat, gaze at landmarks with that all-purpose air of amused curiosity with which tourists greet the unfamiliar. I wouldn't be intrusive - I could sit across the street while they have lunch, using the zoom to catch them unawares, or take up pre-arranged vantage points along their planned route. Jeez, this is a great idea - like having your own personal press photographer. Someone could really make some money out of this. Not me, though. I'd do it for kicks.

One photo doesn't seem enough for me. But I'm always glad to be asked. Perhaps I, and others like me, should wear some kind of badge indicating a willingness to perform this function. We could carry portfolios of our past work. References from those we have snapped.

2. Checking Pseuds' Corner in Private Eye, or newspaper corrections columns, to find writers singled out whom I don't like, and over whom I can experience some momentary and utterly pointless moral superiority. It's nothing close to an obsession. And the buzz I get from it is so mild, it scarcely even qualfies as schadenfreude. Yet still my eye is drawn there.

"Why? What's the significance? I. Don't. Know."
[Pee Wee's Big Adventure]


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