There's a strange variety of motor vehicles camped around my place at the moment, and here's one of them, surrounded by what we fondly call in the UK 'bollards', although I have no idea what the official term is over here.
Pointy sticks if you like. I don't care. In any case they are enclosing and emprisoning this squeeky little scooter, covered in snow and cowering. Can't be fun being a scooter today...
And then the cars are covered in a thin, icy covering of snow, rapidly melting an congealing, because snow doesn't settle in Paris these days - it's a miracle it even snowed at all! But when it does hit the ground there's a sudden burst of warmth and it all melts away, never staying, which is a pity and a photographer's bane, if he isn't quick of the marks.
There's another Golden Rule, and if you missed the first one, it's: if you think you're a photographer, show us your zoom lens, big boy! But seriously, Golden Rule number one is, if you think you're a photographer, then show us your camera. The point being, wherever you are, if you haven't actually got your camera with you, then you sure as hell ain't gonna be taking too many photos. Carry your camera with you EVERYWHERE. Otherwise drop the 'photographer' label!
And the second Golden Rule, which I've been trying to get around to, is to always be ready for the unexpected.
Expect the Unexpected! It's as simple as that. Don't expect that the perfect shot is going to tap you on the shoulder and say, 'Oh, ahem! err, excuse me, but in three minutes, if you point your camera in that direction over there, you will have a really amazing shot.'.
In the real world it just doesn't happen like that. The shot you are waiting for has normally disappeared before you've even realised it was there. I'm feeling pretty sick about my trip out in the snow today, coz I was in a classic tourist spot, not really doing much at all except being very cold, and a couple of guys came up to me and asked if I could take their pic. They were a lovely couple of hearty Americans, I'm pretty sure gay, and their flight had been landed in Paris due to the snowy weather. We had a great chat, and it was only after that I realised that I should have asked them if I could take their pic. They wouldn't have anything to lose, and I'd have an amazing, cheezy tourist snap the like of which I haven't taken for years.
And I didn't get the shot. That's the sort of thing that kills you when you look back on a missed opportunity and weep.
So take my advice, if you have any aspirations to be a great photographer, and I think I'll be developing this idea here over the weeks: ask for the shot, take the shot, be aware that the shot is actually there in the first place...
There are a lot of things to think about, but with practice and perseverence, the true photographer's eye will prevail!