There’s a right way . . .

. . . and a wrong way to go about things.

Yesterday morning I was taking an early stroll through a shopping mall from which I’ve posted a few shots on these pages. It was before opening hours, when there’s usually very little foot traffic.

As I approached a roundabout with a restaurant in the center island, I heard a sharp voice to my immediate right: “No pictures!”

I turned to face a twenty-something male with a look of incredulity on my masked face.

“You can’t go that way, ” he barked. “We’re taking pictures.”

I was the worst person on earth he could have chosen to try his power trip on, as I’m fairly well-read (directly from the statutes) on local law regarding both access and photography here.

“This is a public place. You cannot obstruct pedestrian traffic nor demand that people not take pictures,” I told him.

“Okay, you can go,” he barked, motioning me with a hurry-up gesture. I carried on at my normal pace, seeing the “photographer” clinging to a spindly tripod that would likely induce more vibration than it would absorb.

He greeted me with the same hurry-up gesture. I stopped in my tracks, gave him my best down-the-nose stare, and continued on my way, slightly proud that I had restrained myself from uttering profanities at either of them.

How hard would it have been to print some small sign asking people to go around the other way, or to have been polite about it rather than demanding? Most people around here, myself included, are cooperative whenever the approach is soft-shoe.

Self-accredited “pro” photographers are more numerous than cockroaches in these parts. Not putting down anyone’s gear, but any DSLR with a battery grip and a standard zoom seems to empower an ego bigger than R****** A*****’s (yes, I met him once), as well as conferring authoritative and comprehensive knowledge of every aspect of photography.

To be fair, I’ve met several people who actually make their living as photographers here, and none of them are similarly afflicted.

And a big part of why they are successful is that they know how to do things the right way.

SL2/50mm Summilux-SL