These Photographers Don't Get it



so in last week's video I failed to get a photograph I did try well no I probably didn't try hard enough but I just wasn't feeling it there was no light we were very late it happens sometimes that's the thing with photography nothing is ever guaranteed not with landscapes anyway but that's not to say the trip wasn't a great success so in this video I actually want to share with you some of my experiences from the week some good some not so good but before we go into this video when I was there on this out of my photography conference I met this guy this guy's Raphael he is the the creator of photo pills which is an app that a lot of landscape photographers use and they're running a camp like a photo pihl's camp which is a week-long landscape photography I don't know adventure and it's on menorca not Majorca Minorca it's different a small island in the Mediterranean and when I was there chatting to Rafael in there in Utah he invited me along to go and be like one of the you know one of the leaders one of the adventurers one of the guest photographers so I thought I'd give that plug and I stick a link in the description if you're interested in an adventurous week on the island of Menorca in the Mediterranean Sea in May next year take a look at the link is surf opals come very very excited to be doing that now let's start with my week you know just national not just arches arches and Canyonlands National Park I the way it works is it's landscape photography conference and there are a number of photography leaders so lots of photographers from all around the world I was one of them and the idea is it's a conference where we do presentations and critiques and that kind of usual conference II stuff but as well as that we take groups out on excursions I wouldn't say it was a workshop because you don't have enough time to get to know people and get the group you literally go out with new people every day and you spend an hour or two on location and when I got my schedule I noticed that one of the locations was messer or mesa arch and i was like oh no I was so I got a feeling in my stomach of our I don't want to do Mesa I don't want to do mesa arch if you don't know what macer arches and google it and yeah it's basically this famous arch you know arches national park probably the most famous arch and it's this beautiful arch and when the Sun rises in the morning it hits the canyon wall in front of the arch or behind the arch and then the reflected light illuminates the underside of the arch and you get this intense glow some photographers intensify it more than they need to but generally speaking it is quite a sight and the reason that I was filled with dread at going to this arch is because I knew I knew what were in for I knew what was gonna happen and I was I was right now the thing with this arch is it's so famous and so popular I'd never been to it so I said look if we're gonna go to this arch we need to leave at 4:00 in the morning because we have to be the first day we like our group isn't the first there we are not shooting this arch so we left at 4:00 in the morning and we arrived at the arch and I was shocked I was surprised at how small the arch is the arch is about as big as this room it's it's really small and the images that you see of Mesa Wragge they're all shot with like super wide lens it's like 16 mil and even wider and that gives the impression of this ginormous arch but the truth is when you're there with your tripod in front of the arch you can just about lean out and touch the arch so it's really small and you're really close to it when you're shooting which means you can only comfortably get about five tripods in and I would say that those five photographers are gonna be happy and more or less getting the shot that they want anything on the top of those pipe photographers you know on the outside or they are not gonna get the shot that they want because they'll be too far over to either side or we'll have someone's head in their image we arrived at about 400 of common remember 4:35 a.m. solid two and a half hours before sunrise and there was already four tripods there and I was like Jesus this is all right well this isn't too bad and there was a group of us and I said to the group I said look there's probably space for a couple of guys if you want to get this shot but please please please don't only consider that one composition for this location because there is so much on offer here we are in a beautiful part of the world don't be distracted by the arch anyway a couple of people sell but the arch and that's fine a couple of people start to wander off and explore which is great and as time grew on as the blue hour came into fruition and the Sun started to rise more and more and more people turned up by the Dozen hundreds of them coming out all photographers and I stood there in amazement amazement and I was watching people gather around the arch now don't get me wrong I will always encourage people to get the iconic shot that they want okay there's nothing wrong with that and I would wholly encourage people to go and just enjoy the sunrise at the arch and not stress about getting a photograph but this crowd this crowd of people developed around the arch and and there were photographers I'm pretty sure they were all photographers there was tripods hand-held cameras and it became like a rugby scrum everyone was scrubbing around this arch and it looked so uncomfortable and I knew for a fact that surely only the front five or six or seven or eight photographers are gonna get the shot three of which probably won't be happy with it and and the people at the front were made to feel so uncomfortable it was awful to watch it was a terrible experience that started to unfold here's the bit here's the bit that I that really didn't quite understand and that kind of made me think what are you guys doing and I don't mean this in any kind of sort of arrogant way or you know I'm better than them or I'm too good to take the photograph absolutely not I tell you what if I got a good position in the arch I would 100% get the shots but yeah what I was saying so what really blew my mind was nobody read the situation for that arch for Mesa arch to work as a photograph you need direct sunlight you need blue skies and Sun light needs to hit the canyon wall bounce up get the reflection and it was gray skies thick black clouds you know on the horizon to the east where the Sun was rising was big storm clouds full of mood full of drama all of that misfit full of everything you could want as a landscape photographer get these people were so adamant on getting the odds shot and it was almost as if they didn't realize that okay we're not gonna get this shot because the light's not gonna happen yes you can get a shot of the arch but it's just under grace guys it's a bit lackluster and because it's an icon you're gonna see so many better versions of that kind of flat gray version that you have so I must've ly encouraged my group to forget the arch it's not gonna happen there's no light anyway and look at the crowds it's crazy let's see what else we can find you know let's break up a long lenses let's go and explore the house why the real joy in landscape photography lies is the exploration and the finding something that's unique to you and we did we had a wonder and I went off with a few guys from the group and people started to find these great little compositions and I I thought while myself as with another gentleman we we sort of lined pop composition I took this image you know don't get me right it's not the world's best angel it's a nice image and I'm I'm happy with it because because it's a little bit if to the the usual arch and it was just 2030 meters away you know to the right of the arch and if there was it was that composition was more in composition that light wasn't great which kind of hampered things a bit but that sky was wonderful and if you shoot in the arch then the arch is actually gonna block the sky I was just I just don't I don't know if people want people didn't if they didn't get it if they didn't know that the arch wasn't going to glow or if if they there's also the stubborn side of things what if you've waited in position for so long you know you're gonna chance it and hope that the Sun breaks through the clouds I don't know but for me it was it was an experience and just to see the the people hoping for that one shot and people crowding and almost fighting or one guy got really irate and some some brood man was shouting at people tell him turn off your head torches he was saying but he wasn't asking nicely he was controlling me and a group of people her head touches ah which was strange because no one was doing nice guy photography it was still a bit dark and it would have been dangerous to walk without a head torch so I don't know what this guy was playing up and the general feeling in that scrum was was not friendly you know it felt like a bit hostile everyone was just looking for the position or for nothing because there was no way and I don't think people got this I think people were there should have explored further around the arch um and that was that was my experience at Mesa ROG it was it was crazy crazy crazy and if you if you want to shoot a Suraj it's a beautiful shot and I encourage you to do it my advice haven't been once so take it or leave it is get there like shoot night sky photography and stay out stay up you need to be there it's 2 a.m. 3 a.m. to bag the best spot and just make sure it's a blue sky day and you'll get a fantastic photograph and make sure your tripods lock down because people will be weaving in and out legs will be crossed people will become an obvious shoulder with the camera but be prepared for that so then once you've got the shot go off and explore because it's there's loads to shoot around later arches it's beautiful and another experience that I want to talk about a much better one in Canyonlands National Park we me and a small group went out to Green River overlook I think it's called and remember it was dark when we arrived so we really know what was gonna happen and what the light was gonna do and as the ambient light started to increase the we could we could see that it was gonna be good you know had potential we have that beautiful combination of storm clouds full of rain and full of weather and drama but to the east where the Sun was rising there was a break on the horizon and it was a small break it was a thin break but it was a break nonetheless and what that meant was that that break was gonna allow the sunlight to come through the clouds illuminate subject that we were shooting which is all that the canyon and the canyon walls and everything and it should make for a fantastic photograph with the dark stormy sky in the background now I in my experience I was able to read the situation and read the weather so I encouraged the group to frame one composition you know use all of this ambient might use the time that you have to walk around find your subject find your composition and then just wait just stick with it because that light is going to hit and when it hits it will hit for no more than two or three minutes and what you don't want to happen is for you to be off somewhere shooting something else cuz you have a bit of time and then the light comes and you're running back and you don't really know what you do when you shoot listen you end up with this kind of path paper composition with amazing lights and so I just think we don't want to tripod up you know get set and be patient and then the worst thing happened the Sun started to come through the break in the sky and it eliminated the sky behind us and it was this glorious pink red fiery sky it was in saying it was beautiful and I was like it was kind of like it I don't know that scene from Braveheart or from 300 or something whereas showering at the photographer's just hold your nerve hold your nerve do not go and try and shoot it because behind us there was no real compositions yet there was potential but it would in my opinion would have taken a while to find something nice he had the car park in the way and stuff you know as well as frustrating moments where the beautiful light was happening behind us and there was no one's there I grabbed the shot on my phone and you can see the sky was just beautiful answer tell people to hold their nerve just just wait that light that is a good sign that's coming up through the clouds and soon it will be hitting our subject in front and lo and behold it did it lit up all of the canyon walls in the distant background and it brought the image to life without that lines the image would be very flat but with the lights the image was fantastic you have that dramatic moody sky the burning red light on the canyons in the background and it's really interesting kind of feature this grandeur of this huge Canyon with the Green River and there was that was the best shoe of the week because it was really felt I was so nervous because I'm there as a leader as an instructor and I'm telling everybody to ignore the beautiful light don't shoot it by all means bring your camera around and get a shot but do not move a tripod think about where your focus he said think about your composition because in a minute time you're gonna want to have that back and I was really worried that actually I was telling people not to shoot this amazing light and then maybe it wouldn't happen the way I thought it was going to in front of us but it did it did so it's kind of a moment of like oh my god am i doing the right thing and then oh yeah we did the right thing and everyone's happy and we've got this fantastic shot my favorite shot from the from the conference and yeah I just think I was a couple of stories I want to share with you because last week the video was a bit you know I didn't get anything and I didn't want use the thing that the whole week had been like that so that's it that's that's this video I tried to tell you a couple of stories I hope you enjoyed it who's in this canon 5d not 50 it may as well be a 5d canon eos are this has just been sent to me it's just alone it's not mine I don't own it I haven't even used it yet I'm not put a battery in it but um I won't be having to play over the next few weeks and giving my opinions and my thoughts the best way I know how which is to actually go out and test it in the extremes and use it but yeah so I don't know smoke for the future if you interested oopsy-daisy next week next video what do we do next week no yes so the next video is pretty cool back in the UK shooting autumn a few nice images some lovely mist and some lovely ladies evening light and some nice subjects oh yeah please do tune in next week and if you enjoyed this video please do subscribe or like it or comment your thoughts on busy iconic locations whatever you want anyway I don't care and I'm gonna go I'm gonna go got to entertain the family this evening in-laws coming around Halloween party so should be fun so yeah I'm gonna go thank you so much for watching and until next time bye for now

48 Replies to “These Photographers Don't Get it”

  1. Lovely shot at 14:10 – worth the strong will and patience. The arch thing reminds me a bit of what the Mona Lisa is like. So busy that no-one gets anything out of it other than to say they saw it, except the didn't really, and you can be sure no-one "took it in"

  2. As with everything in life..the is ALWAYS ONE jerk..or a………………….. in the group…You can be anywhere and it seems like there is that one jerk……..right???

  3. You know, you really don't HAVE to have a tripod at all. I don't know why so many landscape photographers are so married to theirs. It's only needed for specialty stuff. You don't have to sit with the shutter open forever for every shot. It's SUCH a hindrance. Leave it behind, it's incredibly freeing.

  4. Totally agree. Also during my workshops I try to avoid the crowded places and push the students to be more creative in the less known places. In general they love that approach 🙂

  5. My experience with Mesa Arch was fantastic. I was there all by myself, the sky was cloudless, plenty of snow contrasting the "typical" photograph, and I walked away with a ton of excellent images. However, it was Christmas morning and -14F. If you want to get a shot of Mesa Arch without fighting with the crowds then you have to plan and suffer.

  6. I would never take part in a 'group photography' event. First, I seek spaces where I can be alone, and second, I don't like photographing things others are or have been photographing. Artwork creation is not a group event.

  7. I visited the "Mighty Five" in Utah and was quite happy with the trip. I do agree however that the crowds around the famous Arch made photographing it at its best unrealistic. I still enjoyed the vision of the Arch and the other sites of Utah. Like my uncle once told us when we noticed he didn't take shots of sites, he pointed to his head and said that the images will always remain in his head. It's something that I always remember. The best shot we can take as photographers is in our head. If we can duplicate that image in a digital or photo paper manner, even better.

  8. I went to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Myself and partner climbed up the mountain at the head of the valley and sat watching all the coaches of people with their 30 minutes off the coach, ant like. I saw fossils and hot air balloons on the horizon and most importantly I felt present in the place, not just in a que trying to get a glimpse of something famous. Sometimes we forget what made the thing famous in the first place and it was not the backs of peoples heads or being jostled and pushed.

  9. After having experienced a couple of these popular photo spots I have come to the conclusion that this is now part of the effort to get this bucket shot. Yes it's annoying, but the places have become so popular because they are above the average and more or less easy to get to.
    But if you want to experience peace and nature you have plenty of places to go to and you don't need iconic views.

  10. Evil sneer here. I'd have gotten the landscape shot with all the people hovered around the arch, then in post, provide a dark, dreary atmosphere to represent the crushed hopes of those wanting the Arch shot.

  11. Not really sure what's the point of visiting these locations and taking the exact same picture as millions and I mean literally millions have already and not coming anywhere near the best images of these iconic locations? Surely there's more satisfaction in find your own places, and working hard for it.

  12. What makes that photo even remotely special? When you've got all those people piled up over one subject like that it loses all value. Go on Google images.

  13. Visit a location, find something that stands out, frame it, take your shot and post it. Here's the important part… Don't share the location, too many places have been compromised..

  14. Thank you for this. As a very new beginner, your videos are very helpful. I appreciate your taking time to share your experiences and observations, both good and bad.

  15. As you once said in one of your videos, which is one of my favorites, those people are "looking for photographs" they are not "looking for compositions". Landscape photography is merely a personal journey. Most of the time you cannot do the right thing even if you know what it is…. which is the basic building blocks of your personal experience.

  16. So many words to say so little. What a waste of time. These guys really need to filter their material. It's painful. Had to leave.

  17. What is the problem with people choosing to photograph the arch? There is nothing wrong with people choosing to shoot whatever they want. Why is your opinion on this subject more important than all those people photographing the arch? You sound incredibly arrogant and conceited. Maybe those people won't get another chance to photograph it in better light. Maybe some of them saved up for this trip for years and just wanted to get the shot, even if the results wen't as good as yours. Why do you feel the need to make a video about criticizing other people? Yikes.

  18. That's why when I visit places I try not going anywhere that I've already seen on photograph, neither as a photographer or a tourist. Because then it's not about the experience but about saying "I've been there too". It's not helping you in any way. You don't get nothing new. According to me what makes a good photographer is knowing yourself and what suits you best and knowing where and when to point the camera to capture it and then you can take a good picture anywhere, in your backyard or the hill outside of town. Not just replicate what have been replicated so many times. There is beauty everywhere not only on places that have been photographed before. Maybe the sun is not hitting an arch, but it's illuminating a tree in a forest, a building in a city and it reflects to the people under it.

  19. the first any only time i was at mesa arch was in 2006. I got there at 4am in october under a fullmoon shooting 4×5 B&W on Efke 25. I was alone. It took me 20 minutes to set up my shot and I would take 2 long exposures. Sat back, had a cup of coffee and just watched the sun ease into the day. Then the loud crowds came to kill my chill. No interest at all in admiring Gods great creation. No interest in watching the earth awaken. Just there to check off the box. And then it got wierd with kids running up the arch. The crowds were almost as bad as your pic but a lot less restrained. People were getting in front of each other, tripods got banged,. One guy with a Canon must have filled 2 cards with non-stop shooting. I could only imagine him thinking he would get one got shot out of the thousand. Oh the humanity. The thunderous sound of shutters. I was done, I got a wonderful image of the valley bathed in moonlight with a very faint glow under the arch and a sky full of streaking stars. I wanted this on my wall, I imagined it and although it's not what people think of when they think of Mesa Arch, it was my vision and in Efke shows just a shimmer of silver.

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