alley oops

Last week after getting my hair cut, I stopped at the nearby poke shop in Santa Monica. (Have I mentioned my poke addiction?!) While I was eating, I was staring across the street at some figures walking down the alley. Something about the way the light was catching them told me I needed to take some extra time for a walk down the alley and around the block. Not surprisingly, it was full of scenes, textures and juxtapositions that I loved. I knew that some of these shots will probably have the makings for future photos. I mostly shoot blind, meaning I don't look at the viewfinder to see what I'm shooting, and when I do that I usually hold the camera in my hand with the lens poking between two fingers. It helps as a way to point the camera where I want to shoot without looking, and also feels less invasive to people on the street who might wonder if or why I'm taking their picture. As I walked around the block shooting pics, a couple came out of a building but seemed to notice what I was doing as I walked. I stopped to shoot a couple pictures looking skyward and the guy stopped and asked me what I was shooting. I tried to explain just random shots for color or composition and showed what I had just taken. They thought that was cool and the lady said "oh an artistic photographer" and I responded "more of a graphic designer, just doing this for fun." He then asked what kind of design and I said mostly tv work. "Oh, I work in tv too, do you have a card?" Of course, I didn't. We chatted a bit and as he left he said his name was Howie. I'm known for never recognizing famous people, and it hit me a couple minutes later that I had just met Howie Mandel. It also dawned on me that he probably was checking to see if I was paparazzi or something. I only got alley and building shots, no stars; but you never know what you'll run into when you take the time for a walk around the block.