Listening to a couple of Frederick’s Shut Up And Shoot audio casts on the train this morning I got thinking about how little I’ve used the camera outside the studio the last few months.

A beautiful sunny view out of the window inspired a walk up to St Paul’s for lunch. Expecting a call from a team mate I decided the walk, talk, lunch and taking in some Vitamin D was in order. Rather than do the normal pressured steam-in, steam-out I’d take the camera too and chill out, if only for a few minutes.

Despite being back many times I’d not thought of it in those terms – St Paul’s was where the first of my 100Strangers project images was shot in 2008, also on a bright sunny day.

A lady in mostly black wearing a lovely orange pleated knee length skirt made a dash across the open space. With the people surrounding her also mainly in black the orange stood out brilliantly. An image to file away under “Inspiration”. She was moving real fast so getting a shot wasn’t to be. I’ll walk at fast pace over a short distance to catch up with someone but not run, I’m a photographer not a paparazzo!

A lad possibly in his late twenties was sporting a large dSLR with big telephoto lens and battery grip. I watched him for a few minutes while he took shots of something or someone in the distance, holding the camera at his waist. He’d snap a few, chimp to see what he’d caught then repeat the process. ‘Tog or paparazzo type? Looking down at my lunch for a moment I missed him go. He was quite different from the crowd fashion wise and would have made an interesting subject.

I was heading back towards the river thinking “I’ll catch a stranger with a camera another day” when the lady at the top of the page and her friend came into view. They were visiting from Chicago and liking London.  I mentioned that this was were I started 100Strangers and asked if she knew of the project.  “I’m not a photographer” she replied, “I just like my camera 😀 “   There have been some interesting posts on the web these past few days on who’s a photographer, who’s a “tog” (slang for photographer, not a duvet warmth rating) and who’s a snapper. Frederick also touched on the subject in his landscape photography talk. More on those groups in a future post.

So thanks to Trey Ratcliff for introducing me to Frederick via his Google+ event, Frederick for getting me thinking street photography again and Miss Chicago for saying yes to the shot. I hope your trip ends well, enjoy your time over here in our great city!