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LOMOgraphy’s first rule in its 10 commandments is to always carry a camera on you wherever you go; National Geographic photographers on location swear on having their cameras to hand from breakfast to lights out.

Now, with most people using their smart phones and MP3 players to take pics instead of a dedicated camera, taking a camera on every trip to the shops or the commute to work is no longer a conscious decision.  Film photographers, however, have to remember.

Sometime last March I walked from my home in north west London to my favourite café in nearby West Hampstead, via Kilburn High Road; something I do most Saturdays if I can. Kilburn High Road’s a street I’ve walked down hundreds of times.

As part of my 36×36 project I tried to take one of my cameras out every day. This day I’d packed a Yashica TL Electro, an M42-mount SLR from the early 1970s, loaded with Fuji Pro 160 film. So when I saw the shaft of light over the mural on this bright, cold sunny day, I waited on the other side of the street for a person to walk into the frame and hope there was a break in the traffic at the same time.

Lo and behold, this woman walked into the scene walking her dog… and as the dog came level with the sunlight and put its paw on the wall just a gap opened in the traffic. I quickly snapped a single pic, and hoped like hell it had come out.

The upshot? It’s a rare day I don’t take a camera out with me…

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Stephen Dowling
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