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2 hours ago, Michael Ventura said:

Here's the madhouse scene I shot of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, even before the phone selfies had taken off.  

 

France Paris  Louvre museum art gallery  Mona Lisa room crowds of tourists try to see the famous painting Stock Photo

 

Had an assignment from a national U.S. magazine shooting a story on the Grenadines in the West Indies and when I approached a model boat builder to take his photo with his model boats, he wanted  something like $150 first.  I explained that this photo could bring him a lot of business but he still wanted cash in hand.  I walked away.

 

I wonder what Leonardo would have thought about all this. Terrific image BTW.

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There is an upside to all this. If most tourists and most photographers are focusing only on hotspots it leaves a lot left over for those who do a bit of thinking outside the box. This is where the whole advantage of developing a niche comes in.

 

Personally I am never very comfortable photographing people for stock whether or not they want to be paid to pose as the main subjects of an image. I have done it but it always feels a bit sneaky that I know I am trying to make some money out of them and that they don't know that. Even worse to me is the idea of trying to get MRs signed by people who do not understand them.  

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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

There is an upside to all this. If most tourists and most photographers are focusing only on hotspots it leaves a lot left over for those who do a bit of thinking outside the box. This is where the whole advantage of developing a niche comes in.

 

Personally I am never very comfortable photographing people for stock whether or not they want to be paid to pose as the main subjects of an image. I have done it but it always feels a bit sneaky that I know I am trying to make some money out of them and that they don't know that. Even worse to me is the idea of trying to get MRs signed by people who do not understand them.  

 

Comforting to hear that. I've always felt the same way about photographing people for stock -- i.e. sneaky and a tad guilty. I've  put it down partially to temperament as I'm not especially outgoing by nature. I probably would have made a good monk or hermit. I've never asked anyone to sign a MR, and I certainly wouldn't sign one myself, especially these days.

 

When it was still possible, in the days when print ruled, I used to combine travel writing with photography and had quite a bit of success with it. As a result, I would get invited on press and "fam" trips. This often led to conflicts because tourism boards often wanted  journalists -- whom they were subsidizing -- to promote places that already had too many visitors. What I often did to get around this was to write articles about aspects of the history and culture of places that might appeal more to armchair travellers than to cruise ship hordes, etc. I guess you could call armchair travel a niche of sorts. 🙃

Edited by John Mitchell

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On a happier note it is thought in wildlife conservation circles that people who spend big bucks (me) to photograph in wild places actually are helpful in providing the locals with a reason to keep wild creatures alive. On the other hand, I was told by a guide that a certain (unnamed) nationality has trouble speaking softly and they scared the hippos. The hippos scare me and I treat them with the utmost courtesy.

 

Paulette

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Alamy is right, of course. It's not nice to target groups . . . and I targeted my own group. Hmmm. Not to mention that much of my own photography over the years was promoting tourism. 

 

Paulette, I read somewhere that more people are killed by hippos in Africa than any other animal. Is that right? And of course, they can run faster than us. Hell, everything can run faster than us. 

 

Edo

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28 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Paulette, I read somewhere that more people are killed by hippos in Africa than any other animal. Is that right? And of course, they can run faster than us. Hell, everything can run faster than us. 

 

Edo

 

 

they do kill a fair bit, but it's a myth they are the highest killer.  Mosquitoes are the deadliest.  As for mammals, human beings are the biggest killers in Africa

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41 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

As for mammals, human beings are the biggest killers in Africa

 

That's for sure. Check out this romantic image. 🤧

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I don't mind travelers who have some respect for where they are.  I think traveling and talking to people in other cultures is a good thing.  If I photograph people, I generally ask and find that most people will pose at first, but can be talked into just working normally.   The problem is selling vulnerable places as tropical paradise destinations.  Mexico City can absorb a lot of tourists and expats.  San Miguel Allende, not so much. 

 

People going to places that are richer culturally than where they live are also one thing, but people coming to see colorful primitive ways of life tend to be rather toxic.  A number of indigenous women who still make and wear their own clothes know that they're a major but underpaid tourist attraction in Guatemala and are hostile to photographers. 

 

I've had people ask for copies of photos I took.  I either have small prints made or burn a DVD for them.

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1 hour ago, MizBrown said:

I don't mind travelers who have some respect for where they are.  I think traveling and talking to people in other cultures is a good thing.  If I photograph people, I generally ask and find that most people will pose at first, but can be talked into just working normally.   The problem is selling vulnerable places as tropical paradise destinations.  Mexico City can absorb a lot of tourists and expats.  San Miguel Allende, not so much. 

 

People going to places that are richer culturally than where they live are also one thing, but people coming to see colorful primitive ways of life tend to be rather toxic.  A number of indigenous women who still make and wear their own clothes know that they're a major but underpaid tourist attraction in Guatemala and are hostile to photographers. 

 

I've had people ask for copies of photos I took.  I either have small prints made or burn a DVD for them.

 

One of the problems is that once people reach a certain level of affluence and education, they tend to compile almost identical bucket lists of "must-see" destinations -- e.g. Venice, Barcelona, Machu Picchu, Cinque Terra, Provence, etc., etc. This is understandable because these are all wonderful places. Unfortunately, they have all been "loved to death" at this point. When I used to tell well-off friends that I was going to strange places like Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, they would look at me with either terrified or mystified expressions on their faces. Perhaps they were correct to be skeptical, but I'd go back any time.

 

When people I've photographed ask me to send them photos, I always agree. Have to admit, though, that my record of complying isn't very good.

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4 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Alamy is right, of course. It's not nice to target groups . . . and I targeted my own group. Hmmm. Not to mention that much of my own photography over the years was promoting tourism. 

 

Paulette, I read somewhere that more people are killed by hippos in Africa than any other animal. Is that right? And of course, they can run faster than us. Hell, everything can run faster than us. 

 

Edo

 

Hippos have that reputation and so do the buffalo. It was a buffalo who nearly killed Beverly Joubert -- a sort of sneak attack it seems. The Jouberts live with the wild creatures and certainly know how to behave. I was very relieved to never see a snake in Africa. They always seemed the scariest of all.

 

Paulette

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Posted (edited)

I have a few snake stories from South East Asia . . . and when I traveled by foot and canoe to snap Angel Falls in Venezuala the stories around the campfire were of the Snake of the Seven Steps. Never encountered one. A friend had a black mamba in her hotel room in Africa. Deadly, fast, and aggressive. The snack I mean, not my friend. 

 

Another friend in Tuscany is being harassed by wild boars who are eating the fruit in her garden this hot summer.

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Posted (edited)

A coachload of tourists of any origination is an ugly thing. Stampeding through a pretty village or museum should be outlawed. I can't see any benefit to the destination or tourists in any number above 6. Having to post multi-language notices is absurd. I live in a rather pretty Suffolk village which benefits from relative proximity to Lavenham which sucks in almost all the gawping visitors. We both have an abundance of medieval timber-framed houses but Lavenham leans a bit more which seems to do the trick. And they have tea shops!. We do have a coffee shop nut it only seems to attract cyclists so far. They look a little odd in all their lycra but don't gawp and certainly do not poke their noses into our gardens.

 

One Alamy photographer made a dash up our street snapping several of our houses but managed to make our abode look almost ugly and falling backwards. For that I should be grateful I guess..

Edited by Robert M Estall

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10 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

when I traveled by foot and canoe to snap Angel Falls in Venezuala 

 

Ha Angel Falls... I did the foot and canoe ride as well. Then for the scenic flight, I was sitting next to the pilot in the Cessna. He turned the ignition on, nothing. Get out he barked with a screwdriver in hand. He fiddled a bit with the screwdriver and the propeller, we boarded again, success!  We were off...

 

  

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26 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 A friend had a black mamba in her hotel room in Africa. Deadly, fast, and aggressive. 

 

 

In her hotel room???? My worst nightmare. So glad now I have no plans to go back to Africa. I love Africa and I actually love snakes if I know they are harmless. They are so beautiful and nice to the touch.

 

Paulette

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36 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 A friend had a black mamba in her hotel room in Africa. Deadly, fast, and aggressive. The snack I mean, not my friend.

 

Was the snack from room service?

 

Alex

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18 minutes ago, gvallee said:

 

Ha Angel Falls... I did the foot and canoe ride as well. Then for the scenic flight, I was sitting next to the pilot in the Cessna. He turned the ignition on, nothing. Get out he barked with a screwdriver in hand. He fiddled a bit with the screwdriver and the propeller, we boarded again, success!  We were off...

 

  

 

Really, Gen! I did mine back in the '70s with Jungle Rudy himself as the guide from Canaima. This was before his current "posh" setup. Did not do a Cessna flight but the flight to Caracas had an engine catch fire and we had to land right after takeoff. 

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10 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Really, Gen! I did mine back in the '70s with Jungle Rudy himself as the guide from Canaima. This was before his current "posh" setup. Did not do a Cessna flight but the flight to Caracas had an engine catch fire and we had to land right after takeoff. 

 

Scary stuff!!

I have to thank you Edo. This prompted me to look at my Gran Sabana pix and I am appalled at the captions and keywords!! I am re-doing them as we speak. It was so long ago... About 1993 I guess. 

This was the boat trip / walk around the rapids (terrible tranny scan).

Amazingly, I licensed one pic recently.

 

AS108D.jpg

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16 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Paulette, I read somewhere that more people are killed by hippos in Africa than any other animal. Is that right? And of course, they can run faster than us. Hell, everything can run faster than us. 

 

There was a BBC programme on TV last night about Hippos in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, and I think (if memory serves me correctly) they said that Hippos kill about 500 people a year. Thats presumably all Hippos, not just those in the Okavango.

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Posted (edited)

One of the lovely parts of the world, Canaima.

 

I have confessed to promoting tourism. But although I've been to 66 countries on shoots, I have few pics of myself in any. I don't like snapshots and I don't do selfies. 

 

I saw most of that program, Phil. Good stuff.

Edited by Ed Rooney

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Chinese are criticized today for bad behaviour as Americans, Japanese and Northern European people have been in the past,

when they were enjoying new wealth and travelling abroad for the first time.

I still remember German women going topless on South Italian (very conservative places) beaches in the 80s, but would anyone  say today that they have not respect for where they are?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Scary stuff!!

I have to thank you Edo. This prompted me to look at my Gran Sabana pix and I am appalled at the captions and keywords!! I am re-doing them as we speak. It was so long ago... About 1993 I guess. 

This was the boat trip / walk around the rapids (terrible tranny scan).

Amazingly, I licensed one pic recently.

 

AS108D.jpg

 

Good for you. I don't believe that any of my Canaima images have ever licensed on Alamy. I did the rickety Cessna fly-over Angel Falls thing as well 15 years ago. Unfortunately, it was so misty that we could barely see the falls. Still enjoyed the flight. The Gran Sabana is magical country. There were lots of tourists around when I was in Canaima. The group below was German, I believe. I imagine that tourism in Venezuela has totally collapsed these days. 

 

group-of-tourists-standing-at-the-base-o

 

 

I've managed to license this one of Canaima Lagoon several times on my own. The dog standing in the bow hung around with the guides all day and seemed to go on every boat trip. He  loved the waterfalls. One of the smartest dogs I've ever met.

 

tourist-photographing-saltos-hacha-water

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell

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I'd like to put in a word in favor of tourism. The last time I went to Kenya they were having a very hard time due to bad publicity from some terrorist attacks by Al Shabab. Tourism provides employment and they were hurting badly. Our wonderful guides kept thanking us for being there and our lodge was almost empty. Really sad. Oddly, with all our talk about dangerous animals the wildlife parks are probably the safest place to travel in Africa.

 

Paulette

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, NYCat said:

I'd like to put in a word in favor of tourism. The last time I went to Kenya they were having a very hard time due to bad publicity from some terrorist attacks by Al Shabab. Tourism provides employment and they were hurting badly. Our wonderful guides kept thanking us for being there and our lodge was almost empty. Really sad. Oddly, with all our talk about dangerous animals the wildlife parks are probably the safest place to travel in Africa.

 

Paulette

 

Absolutely. Legitimate "ecotourism" and cultural tourism can create valuable jobs for locals, educate people, plus help conserve wildlife and ecosystems. When I was doing travel journalism, I was fortunate enough to witness many worthwhile tourism projects at work, mainly in Latin America. The real problem is uncontrolled, exploitative tourism that has little or no regard for anything but money.

Edited by John Mitchell

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8 hours ago, gvallee said:

 

Ha Angel Falls... I did the foot and canoe ride as well. Then for the scenic flight, I was sitting next to the pilot in the Cessna. He turned the ignition on, nothing. Get out he barked with a screwdriver in hand. He fiddled a bit with the screwdriver and the propeller, we boarded again, success!  We were off...

 

  

We flew in a three seater plane to Canaima from Southern Venezuela with a pilot who wore an eyepatch over one eye. I didn’t think it boded well, but we did arrive safely.

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8 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

I saw most of that program, Phil. Good stuff.

 

One advantage of living in the UK is the BBC.

 

Such amazing content but currently being trashed by our ‘government’

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