HAVE WE BECOME PHOTOGRAPHIC BARBARIANS???
FINALLY!! The clouds have dispersed! The rain has stopped! I have laid down my ark building tools and picked up my camera!
While eating lunch yesterday, I noticed what I thought to be a slight break in the cloud formations that had literally drenched the Southern California area for nearly a week. As I continued to monitor the situation, I soon realized that indeed, this was the beginning of the end!
Thinking quickly (for there was no time to lose) I assessed my situation! It was three days before Christmas, the campus was void of students, everyone was in a festive spirit – sure, I thought, I can slip out of here and head to the beach for some photographic adventure! I’ll never be missed! My boss is distracted by the holiday and will never know! Wait a minute…do I even have a boss?? Hmm…I hope he’s not reading this right now! No…I’m pretty sure…I don’t think I have a boss! Wait a minute…maybe I AM the boss! Could that be?? No time to sort through that – I must leave and I must leave now!!!!
Arriving at Huntington beach about an hour before sunset, I packed my gear to the beach and began to set up and take some pre-sunset shots.
When I arrived, there was one other photographer who seemed to have the same idea – with the rain dissipating, this could be a fantastic sunset! He was about 50 yards further down the beach from my position – no problem.
Over the next 30 minutes, I was joined on the beach by no less that 20 additional photographers. Like ants emerging from an anthill, they were all scrambling for the ideal position. My idea of a leisure photo shoot had just been shattered! Now even though I’m new to this photography profession, I’m “Old School” enough to believe if another professional is set up for their shot, you need to find your preferred set-up spot out of their line of sight! In other words, you don’t get directly in front of me and begin to set up your equipment! If you want that position, then arrive early enough to get it!
Apparently, there is no photography etiquette left in the world! Or, at least there wasn’t any on this particular evening!
So, what did I do? Well, I would like to say I went over to the gentleman and very politely asked him if he could change his perspective so as not to be in my shot. Or, I would like to say that I walked over to him, picked up his camera and proceeded to beat him over the head with it until he understood what it meant to be professional. (Just kidding on that last one…I think) But no, I chose to change my perspective and let him have this spot.
I don’t know if there is an ethics code among photographers, but I certainly would never do what this gentleman did. So I say this: If you’re out there determined to capture that perfect shot, take care of the habitat you’re visiting, be kind to other photographers trying to capture their shot, and pick up after yourself! If that’s not our code – I strongly suggest it should be!
Thank you – my rant is over!
Oh…by the way, I thought I still captured a nice shot of a beautiful sunset at the end of a major rainstorm! It’s somewhat rare to see the sun as it slips behind Catalina Island to the west. Maybe this was the better perspective after all!