As a photographer I am constantly struggling with the question "should I bring a camera?" For the first few months of owning my first DSLR it was an enthusiastic "Yes!" I figured if anything interesting happened I'd be prepared or if I got bored I could at least whip out the cam and take a few shots.
But after a while keeping even a light DSLR gets annoying, and as a person who doesn't like to be annoyed I started not taking my camera on outings.
Recently I have found myself giving into my nearly unquenchable thirst for more light-tight boxes*. Lucky for me my addiction is easily appeased by a steady stream of $4 thrift store cameras.
Even though these film cameras are 1/4 of the size of my current DSLR, they still prove to make an uncomfortably large bulge in my pants whenever I pack one for a traipse around the town. (But I'm still happy to see you.)
So the same age old question again arises, and until now I have been none more able to answer it then when I was crying, squealing mess, gasping for air and covered in birthing fluids**.
Enter my (self declared) ingenious solution. I spent about 2 hours last night rigging up a way to keep a small film camera under my seat.
Rasta colors tell you I'm a free spirit.
With a re-appropriated old Volcom backpack buckle and a belt I've had lying around I sewed some straps onto the bars underneath my bike saddle.
The adjustable buckle is on the right side so I can reach it with my right hand. This makes it so I don't have to stop when I want to take it out/put it back in. The black strap underneath is elastic so it gives tension for the camera.
It's not perfect though. Those straps are actually sewn on to the saddles architecture, so if I ever buy a new saddle the straps are not easily transferable.
Anyway, while I had my sewing kit out I figured I'd sew on a patch I've had kicking around for a few years. It's the logo for the photographer Ed McCullouh.
(Click the image to get your own patch.)
I've sent Ed a few emails asking him some questions and he's always been cool about helping me out, so I'm more then happy to rep the guy.
I'm getting pretty stoked on this shirt. I feel like a cool-guy bike messenger/mechanic when I wear it. Like I'm taking on the world, with style and grace!
Puck knows a styleOG when she sees one.
ONE OF the ways that I'm taking on this both styleless and graceless world is to (where I can) ride my bike instead of driving. The weather is starting to allow for day-lit excursions and it's great because I get to illustrate how eco-legit I am (remember, I REUSED some stuff to make a camera holder) to those square, square gas enslaved motorists.
One of the things that us style-filled eco-photographers do to let you know that we're eco-photographers (filled with style), is to roll one pant leg up. It's practical (keeps my pants out of my bike) and seductive (shows of ones muscly, toned calve(s)). It also shows off my newly shaved leg(s)***.
I gave into the curiosity last week and took the silky smooth plunge.
Let me tell you something about having baby soft legs. I do not like it.
Sheepishly owning now shaved legs is a really odd experience for me. I have learned a few things:
1. I'm a lot more partial to my leg hair then previously realized. As a highly evolved human male I have very little upper body hair. Make no mistake, I like it this way, but that once possessed leg fur did remind me of my neanderthalesque Republican roots.
2. Shaving your legs is a pain. I know that last sentence isn't going to make it into any major news cycles, but still, I now posses a knowledge for myself that shaving ones legs quickly becomes tedious.
(And before any caps-locked Riot Bloggrrs start revving the male hate engine let me say this: I've never told you to shave your legs. Aim the XY hate ray as some other blogsticles.)
3. That whole "everything feels softer" line is not true. It turns out my leg hair was like unto a multitude of lower extremity(d) whiskers. By cutting it all off I've just deadened my senses. Everything feels smooth if you don't have many nerves.
Of course the the most important lesson I've learned is actually in the form of a question: Why do other men chose to do this?
I do not understand why a man would willfully decided to shave his legs. Listen, if you're a girl and you think your legs look better shorn then I support that sexy decision****, but if you're male and your leg hair isn't like, repugnant, then why would you go through the hassle? Smooth legs culturally bring femininity to mind, and while I don't want to propagate any harmful gender stereotypes by buying into a hairy/smooth male/female dichotomy, it seems to me that it's good to embrace your genders natural features*****.
Be it hair filled or not.
*There aren't really any cool slang terms for cameras. Skateboarders are lucky, they have cool names for everything. For example: Skateboard = Stuntwood, and you know a nickname is top notch when it also works as a porn star name.
**Ah high school!
***Because of initial time constraints for a few days only my right leg was shaved. I was hoping at some point I'd be able to tell someone it was so my leg hair didn't get caught in my bike's crank-side gears. Alas, no such opportunity arose.
****LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I SUPPORT ALL SEXY DECISIONS.
*****Full disclosure: I'm circumcised.