I've been a bit busy of late, so I've not had much time to blog..... This weekend past, I spent my time in the company of eight lovely people whilst doing a workshop in Glencoe. It was a really nice weekend and I had a lot of laughs with everyone.
Anyway, the reason for this post is about photography etiquette. Have you ever had the experience of setting up your tripod some place (and the landscape can be really big) only to see someone far off approach you and then mussel you out of your location? Well, during this weekend I had a classic example of that. I'd been setting up this shot - I found a tiny bit of ice on Rannoch moor and was busy showing Iain in my group the benefits of getting down really low for this composition when another photographer turned up and walked right in front of me and set their tripod up.
It was unbelievable. It was like we weren't there. Out of a big landscape like Rannoch moor, this person had decided that the very spot we were standing on was where they wanted to be, and without even asking us, just walked right in front and set up their tripod.
I've had experience of this many times before. I can recall one time being in Milford Sound, New Zealand, making a shot of Mitre peak. The landscape was deserted and I'd chosen a location off the beaten path. Standing in the middle of a river leading out to the coast, another photographer turned up and promptly set up their tripod next to mine.... almost invading my body space, and then eventually, right in front of me.
It's like going into a deserted cinema and choosing a seat, only to find a second person comes into the cinema and decides to sit right in front of you (and they're usually tall too) :-)
Last year in Bolivia, I had the same experience with a photographer while I was making a picture of the stone tree. The landscape was deserted and out in the distance I saw a jeep racing towards the landscape. When the jeep arrived, this guy got out, came right over to where I had my camera and asked 'how long have you been here'. And then he promptly set up his tripod at the exact height, with the exact composition, right in front of me.
I'm sure there is good reason for their behaviour and it is this: It is the belief that if they see a photographer set up in some place, he's probably there with good reason. You wouldn't of course, go into an empty restaurant would you?
So suggestions welcome as to how to deal with photographers who think nothing better of stealing your location right from under your feet.
A poke in the eye perhaps? :-)