As I made my way under the bridge to the Island I paused to look back at the lines of the bridge. I framed a shot. A couple walked into my frame so I paused, lowered my camera and waited for them to pass. I'm usually conscious and nervous of getting strangers coming towards me in my pictures. I thought my intent was fairly obvious.
As the couple passed, the man agressively addressed me. I'm not exactly sure of the words but I soon realised he was accusing me of taking the picture; of photographing them. It was an honest mistake; I can see how he may have drawn that conclusion.
I explained. I showed him my pictures. I proved that they were absent from my camera. I thought that should be enough. But he continued to give me "advice" on how my actions could have been perceived; not in a friendly, constructive way but in a belligerent abusive way; still taking the line that I was in the wrong.
I was polite. I accepted his "advice". But inside I was fuming. I don't respond well when my integrity is questioned. I had done nothing wrong. Quite the opposite of what he accused. And what made me most upset was the total lack of acknowledgement or concession on his part.
In the end I get it. He was an arsehole and nothing I could have said would have changed the outcome. But I didn't deserve being treated that way. It stayed with me for hours until I eventually let it go.
But it does make me more cautious about people.