please keep out

So I’m getting ready to shoot a photo and this guy comes up to me — he’s maybe in his mid-to-late 20s, wearing skinny-jeans, a zippered hoodie, and one of those floppy-eared Tibetan-looking knit hats — he comes up and he says, “What is that, a little Leica?”

I tell him it’s a Fuji X10.

He says, “Fuji. Is that, like, Japanese?”

I say yes, it’s a Japanese company.

He says, “The Germans, they make great cameras.”

I take the shot, then agree with him.

He says, “You shouldn’t be shooting into the sun like that.”

I tell him I think it’ll be okay.

He says, “It’ll be over-exposed. Or under-exposed. I forget which. Over-exposed.”

I tell him I’m using spot metering, and take another shot.

He says, “Oh” then tells me he’s been thinking seriously about buying a Leica. “But they cost so much.”

I agree that they’re expensive cameras.

He says, “Spot metering,” then asks if he can see the photo.

please keep out

It’s not a great photo, but I knew that when I was shooting it. I just liked the shadows. And sometimes you just want to see what a camera can do. Anyway, I show him the preview on the LCD.

He nods and repeats himself. “Well. Spot metering. And you shot that right into the glare of the…uh…thing there. And that’s a Fuji?”

I tell him I think they have spot metering on Leicas too.

He nods happily and says, “Cool.”

NOTE: Here’s a thing I’ve observed since I started using the little X10: most often people don’t even notice the camera. But when they DO notice it, they sometimes ask me about it. Nobody ever asked about the Nikon DSLR, which is also a very fine camera. I think that ‘retro’ look confuses and interests people.

6 thoughts on “please keep out

  1. I was on a photo shoot for work, shooting some stock photos of a success story. Another employee was on the set as a backup photographer, to do some background shots and stuff. I took my camera into the grocery store to shoot (against the rules, but I wasn’t about to ask permission), and he followed me in. “Why are you using that lens?” “What’s your aperture?” “Why are you shooting it that way?” Constantly. I told him if he wanted to shoot his own pictures, he can go right ahead. In another place, he questioned, again, why I was shooting the way I was shooting. Then he asked if he could see it in the camera. I told him I would not tolerate his constant nagging, and I would not give him the camera. If he wants to see the shot, he can take one himself.

    What an ass. You think you can do it better? Do it then. But leave me alone.


    • This guy was mildly annoying, but I think mainly because he wanted to be cool and impress me with his cool superior knowledge. But most of the people who ask me about the camera are legitimately interested in it. They’re not trying to offer advice; they just want to talk cameras. I enjoy that.


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