Rant: The Photographer Swarm

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by usayit, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Please excuse me while I rant a little....

    My Family and I were enjoying what was left of a rained out weekend at Renaissance festival. Apparently it was the intention of many others as it was a packed day. One such group was a photo-club of 12+ members roaming around like a pack.

    One of my favorite spots to enjoy is a glass blowing group with a wonderfully laid out workshop. The shop is situated a few feet below so that the audience can see from a good vantage point. Surrounding the workshop are wonderfully craft pieces available for sale. Along one side are benches which on this occasion was full of families enjoying the demonstration. I pretty much situated myself standing in the far corner out of everyone's way but still within a good view. Once the photo-club members showed up it was a sight that made me want to hide my camera. I just didn't want to be associated with this group. They got in front of people... squeezed and pushed their way to the front... stuck there big lenses in whatever spots they can manage.. flooded the place with fill flash... and just really interrupted what was suppose to be an educational and relaxing family event. Many even started to take macro shots of the artists' work pretty much keeping the rest of the visitors away... even potential buyers. One of the artists' even said "What's with all the cameras?" It felt as if some celebrity showed up and the paparazzi followed! One photographer squeezed directly in front of my view during the demonstration! I tapped him on the shoulder and gave him a stern look. He looked at me, my camera hanging around my neck, and said "I thought you were done taking your photos?". OMG.. how rude..

    As quick as they swarmed in, they all left. Not a single person apologized (that I can tell). Not a single person purchased anything from the artist (I know they don't have to). Not a single person even stuck behind to thank them for the show. Even I have been known to throw 10 bucks into the hats of street performers after a few photos...

    As a hobby photographer and I am all for these clubs.. even participated in several in past years (its been a while now). For this particular group, aggressiveness and sheer disregard for their surroundings was totally uncalled for. I can see how the general public are a bit stand-offish with photographer's in general. Groups like this just make it worse for the rest of us. I am happy that digital has brought the joy to many who otherwise wouldn't consider the photography as a past time.... but I am telling yah... it seems worse now that digital has made it so accessible. It's a double edged sword.

    One of my loves is street photography as well as more fine artistic shots.... I've learned not to "taint" the environment with my presence and be polite to all those around me at all times. I know there are exceptions but most fellow photographers who I've had the pleasure of learning from pretty much preach the same thing. If you are part of a large group, maybe its wise to throw out suggestions such as breaking into smaller groups etc... it might fall on deaf ears but hey...
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've seen the same with pro photographers. I was a volunteer photographer for an event, which was a walk at night for Leukemia. We were 4 volunteers walking around in the rain trying to capture the event and the moments the best we could.

    There was a chapel setup a bit far off the regular tent area where people could go pay their respects and what not to people they lost. One of our photographers was up there taking some candid shots, ensuring she was out of the way and not bothering or over stepping her bounds, which she did an amazing job.

    However, a camera crew was there, cameraman, light guy, sound guy, commentator. They went to the chapel and were shining their bright light everywhere, standing in front of people, bumping into people and so on. Very rude, very unprofessional. When the photographer who was up there told me about this, I reported it to the event organizers, who took it from there.

    You should find which camera club that was and put in a complaint as to the actions and rudeness of this bunch. I'm all for camera clubs, but not to the point where they are disturbing everyone else.

    In the digital age, so many people have picked up a dSLR (myself included). People learn how to use them, how to compose images...but they also need to learn how to act and how to behave in public with them.
     
  3. battletone

    battletone TPF Noob!

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    Sometimes all these situations need is someone not afraid to stand up and voice their opinion of the behavior.

    In general, bystanders are as guilty as perpetrators. ...IMO
     
  4. Hobbes

    Hobbes TPF Noob!

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    lol now you see why I like to make fun of those snobby photographers with their expensive cameras and Macs and I-am-better-than-you attitude
     
  5. JayCanon

    JayCanon TPF Noob!

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    Some people have no respect for others. Some are so into their photography that they may not realize the trouble they cause.

    When I'm shooting in a public place, I'm a human being first and a photographer second. I like shooting at various zoos. I always stay out of the way, and patiently wait for the opportunity to shoot. I also take a quick look behind me to make sure I'm not blocking anyones view. The majority of visitors aren't there to take serious photos.. They couldn't care less about my love for photography and their experience shouldn't have to suffer because of some guy with a camera.

    My goal is to always stay as invisible as possible. If it means missing a shot every once in a while, so be it. I can live with that, knowing that respecting other people is more important than my photography hobby.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Was Britney Spears there?

    Is it possible a band of roving, west coast paparazzi was teleported to the eastern seaboard, and the free-roaming gang that feeds the tabloid rags went in search of downblouse and or upskirt or Britney bikini photos, but wound up at a Renaissance faire filled with rain-drenched lasses clad in ankle-length skirts and neck-high collared dresses,and not finding any material fit for their tabloid readers, they vanished just as quickly as they had arrived?

    Or was it just an over-enthusiastic band of snap-happy New Jersey-area camera club shutterbugs? You know, the kind that ruin the butterfly exhibits at many zoos during the summer with their tripods, and tend to "camp out" right in front of bands of small kids and paying customers in order to get that one,single, good butterfly shot at the expense of hundreds of other patrons?
     
  7. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really sounds like the fault of their club organizers in not instructing their memebers on something called manners. I think it would be one of the first things I would instruct neophytes about when it came to photographing events. Granted some may not get it but, atleast teach them about it.
     
  8. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why in the world would you go on a photo club outing and shoot the exact se thing as a dozen other people? "Hey look at this cool shot I took!"... "Oh yeah I got the same one"....."oh I shot one just like that"......"hmmm... Do you have anything that I haven't seen?" "This is boring." coppy cat!" blah blah blah
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nah... but one of the glass artists was a female with curves in the right places... :cool:
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    He I bet most of those in the group are pretty nice people overall - the sad part is that often a group, especailly one where there is no clear responcible leader (as can be the case with photography clubs where everyone is in a similar generation) can often end up acting totally like a group. This closes their views to those outside of the group and leaves them acting very differently.
    Though I'm not trying to defend their actions, just explain; in truth they should be more aware of their surroundings and impact when shooting.

    Myself I often end up at the back or in less than ideal locations when shooting and I don't begrudge moving aside for others to view something (even if they don't have a camera). Reminds me most of bughouses where space is very limited and whilst I could spend all day shooting one butterfly I adopt a shoot and move on tactic when the numbers are high so that the flow of people keeps going and everyone can have a look.

    Ahh you say that but its a great thing :)
    firstly everyone sees things differently so its great to get back and see the different angles on the same subject as well as the different subjects people focus on. I'm reminded of a trip to a widlife centre by a group of photographers I was on - one chap spent most of the day chasing (wild) jumping spiders around rather than shooting the foxes/otters etc... (though I'm fairly sure he got some shots of them as well).
    I also like them from a learning point of view - online and in clubs one tends to see each others best photos, which often is the very few really good ones, with the rest hidden away in harddrives. Often duller day shots might never get shown so one always gets the impression of perfect lighting - so its great to see how others perform in the same lighting conditions as ones self.
     
  11. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Tough deal for sure. Big up to them for getting together. I guess their heart is in the right place. Who can deny anyone the beauty and joy of photography?

    None the less I wonder; I bet a dollar they went home and posted the photos to their flickr account and battled even further. More and more I hear and see signs that photography has become a competition as opposed to an art form. Strobist this and IMHO that and Flickr and smugmug and I just started a retail biz on the side... Basically it is all poop.

    We must realize that photography is a community and an art form. Take the time to understand your subject, take the time to understand your photography, get your nose out of a book and experience the world around you. Bombarding a location or a model for half an hour is not the answer. The answer is respect and understanding toward yourself, your subject (animate or inanimate) and other photographers.

    Love & Bass
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    << Wondering what would have happened if I brought along a powerful flash attached to an optical slave ?

    :fangs: :fangs: :fangs:

    << nah... that's mean.
     

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