The Warrior Tourist


Oh my, you can’t believe all the different cameras here in Philly. See, it’s tourist season and I’ve seen everything from…to Leica’s. It’s just amazing how many people come here and are really equipped for the trip. I look like a tourist and that’s awesome when I am seen that way. I have Serendipity the Olympus Pen F with her 28mm mounted. So, I use the tilt screen a lot and ya know, that’s a feature I didn’t care for in the beginning but now, it’s what I adore about the camera.

I was standing at the Visitor center of the Historic Park and all the sudden this Asian girl, around 25 or so walks over to me, points the camera right at me, makes a few frames and smiles and say’s thank you sir. She walked back to her friends and never even looked back.

I know a master when I see one. I wanted to bow to the street shooter master but I knew if I bowed, I wouldn’t be able to straighten up my back. I bet there’s not 27 people on Face Book that would have the guts to do what she did. Seriously! There is an innocence lost with the knowledge sought by shooters. So, I started thinking, ( yes my brain is on the job, till the weekend)…What is the real factor in how people approach other people to make  photos? Where does it get a change in definition as we become more involved with making or taking photos?


The answer I came up  with is, INTENT. No really, think about it for a little bit. Now I know about INTENT and have for many years. I am a registered intent-ologist. The girl had a specific intent and like a warrior, approached me and made the photos. She never asked me or anything, just came over and made the photos. Is it because she’s a tourist and just doesn’t know anything? I think not. I believe tourist and shooters for that matter are people first. So they bring the feelings, excitement, fears all the things with them on their journey. We as shooters do the same thing.

Maybe the real difference is in the nobility of the process. Perhaps tourist are fully aware of TAKING photos to preserve and keep memories. There isn’t much difference between the tourist and the serious shooter. The shooter MAKES photos to bring something home and to enrich a part of his/her life.

Why else would we spend large amounts of money and countless hours of energy and love to pursue the dream of excellence in our work.


I see it as the same, intent wise and also in practice. Tourist spend good money on cameras, expenses to travel, and a great amount of energy to get the prize of some photographic memories to take home and save and love and look at thru the years.

Geeze, that sounds like every shooter I know. Imagine that.

So I suppose what I have said, and lived for decades is :….

We are all tourist thru life, no one gets a permanent visa.

The ideal goal is not for the tourist to become a shooter, noooo but for the shooter to become a tourist and see with those eyes. The eyes of a young Asian girl with intent and the strength of a warrior and the heart to continue.




8 thoughts on “The Warrior Tourist”

  1. I love playing the tourist and even more so when trying my hand at street photography. I just wish I could approach strangers and take a photo. I try to hide what I am doing for the fear of confrontation. Which results in very poor shots and they get deleted. Something I need to work on.

    1. Sharon, you are not alone in the crowd. It’s one of the hardest things for someone to get a grip on. I think firsts you need to learn your intent out there and then develop the method of practice. I’ll be on this again today in my blog post.
      Peace, don

  2. Nice thought Don about we are all tourists thru life… That Asian girl with the camera looking like a tourist – if you or I did what she did…well, we’d be taking a risk! But, as street shooters it is something we must do occasionally. Take care out there.

    1. Yeah Dave, I guess it’s the Inverse Square Law again. The MORE you know, the LESS chances you take and the LESS you know, the MORE chances you take.

      At any rate, I’ll be back at the Visitor center today and try to find my Warrior Tourist and get some lessons……

  3. She definitely had guts. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do that. I like to remain as invisible as possible and then disappear quickly after I take a picture. 😀 One of the last pictures I took was of a man in a cafe. I was walking by and I thought it would make a great picture so I took the shot but the man looked up at that exact moment. He did not look pleased but he was inside and I was outside so I quickly continued on my way.

    1. Tina, thanks.
      We are all made differently and respond to things in different ways. For me, that’s the excitement of living and working.
      Your doing well with the new Sony, great camera. Use it in best of health….

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