Why I always carry my camera…

…even out on to my balcony to have a smoke.

These days there are plenty of ways you can always make sure you have a camera with you, from the not-so-humble-anymore mobile phone all the way up to super-compact cameras and DSLRs. I always have the iPhone with me but I’m also stupid, so I carry a heavy Nikon and at least one lens with me at all times. And yes, I really mean ‘at all times’.

On a recent trip to my local conbini, to get a loaf of bread, the guy behind the counter remarked:

‘No camera today?’

I detected a whiff of victory about the young shop-assistant’s tone: he’d caught me without my camera. Maybe he and his colleagues had some sort of sweep-stake running.

‘It’s in my bag,’ I replied.

Yessss! No pay-off for you today, sunshine.

Usually it’s around my neck or in my hand. His question prompted me to get it out of the bag again. I like to be ready. I’d slipped. Even the man in the conbini had noticed. Must go home immediately. Must repeat one-hundred times to myself: ‘my camera must always be ready, my camera must always be ready.’

Mushroom cloud over Tokyo by Alfie Goodrich

So, a couple of days ago I’m exiting my front door to have a smoke on my balcony. Naturally I have my camera around my shoulder. Choice of lens for the day? My old-faithful 20mm f/3.5 Nikkor, of circa 1985 vintage. A good year for full-bodied glass.

Got to the balcony rail. Cigarettes out. Light one. Inhale. Let the day’s stresses seep out on the out-breath. Nice.  Me iz now relaxed. Look up at landscape.

‘What the……….??’

And the picture below is what I got.

Not often you see a mushroom cloud over Tokyo, eh? Let’s hope they remain as benign as this one: just a little freak of air currents and weather conditions, playing shape-shifter and serving up an interesting vista for me…..

…and my ever-present, all-seeing Nikon.

About Japanorama

Japanorama is run by British professional photographer, Alfie Goodrich, and provides practical photography teaching in Tokyo. Weekly workshops, group and one-to-one lessons bring together photographers of all ages and abilities.

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