The Retail Spy
The poor devils have a rather claustrophobic environment, but then I notice this in many places here in Sydney. The railway gauge might be wider but the space down retail aisles is smaller than WA. As the people are no skinnier than at home, this makes for some pretty squeezy shopping. I saw that the shop here is cursed with an upstairs and a downstairs but presumably the staff do not have to do the constant trips up and down them. I noted wryly that there was no more display space here than at home and things are stacked vertically just to get them in. This lead to some pretty odd conjunctions - the Lastolite reflectors sharing space with audio gear and suchlike.
I was able to see myself in action - a staff member who I recognised as me in another life was taking a customer through the basics of depth of field and I could predict exactly what the next sentences were going to be. To his credit, he coped very well - I hope I do as well.
The pro area was lightly attended but the basic camera section had quite a lot of counter pressure. As the prices were near as dammit the same as we charge, I think this shows that even with the pressure in this town of the major bucket shops, photographers still want face-to-face contact and the reassurance of proper factory warranties when they purchase equipment and I think they need professional advice as well.
Did I buy anything? No, but I was polite and kept out of the way. That is the best policy when you are doing industrial espionage, though I do like shinnying down ropes in darkened premises after midnight to secretly photograph the business plans. That and the Aston Martin sports car with the machine guns. I like working for Camera Electronic because you get a lot of opportunities that normally don't show up in retail - next year I hope to have a string of unclad spy girls as well if any of them will answer my advertisement in the paper...
Oh, Hasselblad? No, but someone has left a Fujifilm TK something there in the s/h section that looks remarkably like the Hasselblad Expan cameras. It seems to be made of silver or titanium and has a wooden grip inset into the front of it. Most interesting in a sort of Margaret River achitecture sort of way.