Are landscape photographers ruining photography for each other?

Sep 11, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Are landscape photographers ruining photography for each other?

Sep 11, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Has it happened to you that you come to a beautiful location just to see there are plenty of tourists/other photographers blocking your view? I’m sure it has. Travel photographer Brendan van Son faced this problem at Moraine Lake, and it left him with a question: “Are photographers ruining photography for photographers?

As Brendan points out, landscape photography at sunrise is his “happy place.” At this time, there are usually not too many people awake, not to mention that very few of them would climb a mountain or hike for miles just to take photos. However, he woke up to see this wasn’t the case at Moraine Lake. During the sunrise, he didn’t have the place for himself, but there were 15-20 other photographers climbing the rock pile. He was annoyed not just because they were in his shot, but also because they used a pile of logs to walk around, even though there was a trail. And also, he felt like his “happy place” was taken away from him.

If we leave out casual tourists that will certainly get into your shots plenty of times, in this case, Brendan is focused on photographers. He believes that it’s especially YouTube photographers who are “ruining photography for pros”. I’d add Instagram photographers as well, and generally speaking, everyone whose work is mainly focused on the presentation on social media.

Now, while I do get annoyed by other people ruining my shots, I can’t completely agree with Brendan. First of all, everyone has the same right to be there, no matter the reason. Whether they take a fine art landscape photo, a material for the vlog, photos for social media or holiday snapshots – there’s no raking who “deserves” to be there more. Secondly, now that photography is more available than ever before, there are more and more people getting interested in it. People get passionate about it and want to take their best shot, no matter if they are “pros” or not. Sure, an annoying teenager taking a selfie while I’m trying to get the shot is annoying, but she has the right to be there just as much as I do. After all, most of the times when you kindly ask people to move – they will.

Of course, there’s another side of this, too. If people are breaking the rules or risking lives to take photos, it’s normal to be annoyed. What’s more, you should feel free to tell them to move and stop doing what they’re doing. Not just so you can take your shots, but because of general safety or saving the environment.

Personally, I’m learning to accept the fact that, at certain places, there will always be someone in my shot. If they’re enjoying themselves and not risking their safety, I even love to see them having a good time. I will either incorporate them in my shots or find a way to take photos so I can avoid them. Either way, I believe they have the same right as I do to be there, no matter their photographic skills or purpose of their work. And how do you deal with other photographers getting into your shots? Do you include them in the shots, tell them to move, or something else?

[Are Photographers Ruining Photography for Photographers? via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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22 responses to “Are landscape photographers ruining photography for each other?”

  1. The JennCast Avatar
    The JennCast

    I took family to see Mesa Arch at sunrise last summer. There was a guy, literally right against the arch. In other words, he had positioned himself so that it was impossible for anyone without a full frame camera and an 11mm lens to get a shot. To make matters worse, he was firing a flash. After several flash shots, I finally said something, not so much for me, but for the rest of the crowd. Remarkably, I came away with a shot, far better than I had anticipated, but no one in my family did because they did not have gear for an ultra wide shot. He was from a far away country and obviously felt that has travel had entitled him to deprive everyone else of a shot to get his, sadly. If he really wanted a shot so badly, he should have come in the off season so as to not ruin it for everyone else.

    1. catlett Avatar
      catlett

      I do get that everybody wants the shot. If everybody is respectful and pays attention to not jumping in front of shots and using a respectful amount of time instead of grabbing 1000 shots it generally can work out.

  2. Naptunian Avatar
    Naptunian

    This travel photographer sounds self entitled. “Other” photographers are the problem and are ruining his photography.

  3. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    “Ruining photography for pros” says it all. What a self-absorbed, self-important completely arrogant ass.

    Yes be safe, be respectful but you don’t own the place. With that said, there is one woman in my town that I have called out on occasion because at public events she can be standing right next to people who, like her are taking photos of whatever event it is and she will, without fail jump right up in front of everybody else. She has a right to be there just like everybody else but not the right to selfishly get her shot to the demise of everybody else.

  4. Chris Avatar
    Chris

    Just yell at the people in your shot “SAY CHEESE!” ?

  5. Sylvia Ford Avatar
    Sylvia Ford

    I wait. A true photographer must be patient. There is always a time where the landscape clears.

    1. Adam Śmigielski Avatar
      Adam Śmigielski

      They don’t move for a few hours. To be patient doesn’t work… :-D

  6. Dave Kee Avatar
    Dave Kee

    Or you can incorporate them.

  7. Alexandre Bettencourt Avatar
    Alexandre Bettencourt

    Photoshop the hell out of them, if feasible.

  8. Don Barnard Avatar
    Don Barnard

    use a tripod, take several shots and stack them in post to make removing people easier…

    1. Don Barnard Avatar
      Don Barnard

      Adam Śmigielski not sure what you mean, but one technique doesn’t apply to all scenarios but… the technique I mentioned, I use it often and it works often.
      https://toomanyadapters.com/how-to-remove-people-travel-photos-photoshop/

  9. Anthony Kerstens Avatar
    Anthony Kerstens

    What? Free unpaid models for my photos? Perhaps, as long as they are in the distance and faces not easily recognized, why not?

  10. Adam Śmigielski Avatar
    Adam Śmigielski

    Unfortunately yes… :(

  11. Adrian Duron Avatar
    Adrian Duron

    Rubber band gun? Airsoft? Ask them politely to ” GET THE HECK OUTTA MY SHOT”………please?

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      Bear spray?

  12. JP Danko Avatar
    JP Danko

    Man – this is so right on the money. But its not just photographers – its tourism in general that has run amok. I don’t know if its the Instagram effect or what – but places that you could just go to even 5 years ago are totally overrun – even local places (where I wouldn’t consider myself a tourist) are completely overrun to the point where there is no point going anymore. If you’re a pro this is especially frustrating because unless you get a model release – shots with people in them are useless. In many areas the only way you can get away from the hordes is if you
    pay or have contacts with private property – which is really
    unfortunate.

  13. Chris Chinnock Avatar
    Chris Chinnock

    Talk to them – ya know like a human… and ask politely if they’d mind stepping aside….if all else fails photoshop their asses outta there!

  14. Dieter Greven Avatar
    Dieter Greven

    Pumpgun

  15. Ralph Hightower Avatar
    Ralph Hightower

    So, a photographer doing touristy things gets annoyed at other tourists and photographers doing the same thing. Brendan should’ve at least shouted “Hey you! Get off my lawn!”

  16. Robert Mitchell Avatar
    Robert Mitchell

    What a hypocrite, he theres aswell and I wonder how many photos brandons ruined for others in the same fashion? No doubt hes blocked others, pohotgraphers or otherwise without even noticing or caring. As other have said, he sounds totally self entitled!

  17. Bipin Gupta Avatar
    Bipin Gupta

    Hey Dunja or Brendan or Mr. Whosoever, we don’t own our pretty earth, we have borrowed some space & time. I was at Moraine Lake too and also took that thrilling boat ride with the pretty driver girl from New Zealand. No one is ruining photography but yourself by being rude. Just wait your turn. And if they are taking too long to take their shot, tell them politely to move on and give you some time too. And yes you do have the right to warn them off if they are ruining the environment or risking their lives. With so many DSLRs around – many better than yours – photography has taken off in great wonderful way. And learn how to make people disappear from your photos in post.

  18. CAugustin Avatar
    CAugustin

    Be polite and communicate – that might be the way to go. But yes, photographers should be aware of one another and co-operate instead being assholes (one way or another). Just my 2 EURcents … ;)