Bill Brooks

Destroying to Make the Picture

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Here is a blog post that should be required reading for every photographer.

 

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2016/20161125_1800-destroying-to-make-the-picture.html

 
It is one of the reasons why I only give an approximate location for my images, and certainly no GPS. An approximate location is enough for any editor client trying to write a caption, without attracting hordes of photographers. 
 
The blog post only refers to wilderness, but it also happens in the country and the city as well. Ask any city homeowner or a farmer residing at a good picture location. Trampled crops, gates left open, cattle stampeded, photographers parking in a city private driveway, trespass in backyards, the list goes on.
 
Take nothing but pictures, do not even leave footprints.
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Last month I was visiting the S21 genocide museum in Phnom Penh. In one room there are skulls of victims displayed. There is also a sign for visitors that they should not hunt Pokemons there. Who in their right mind hunts pokemons in a Museum of Genocide? I would have taken a photo of it... but there was another sign forbidding photography.

 

People (including photograpers) behaving badly whilst abroad is going to be more and more in the news as locals start to loose patience.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/world/europe/selfie-vacation-damage-majorca-paris-ibiza-rome.html?_r=0

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Last month I was visiting the S21 genocide museum in Phnom Penh. In one room there are skulls of victims displayed. There is also a sign for visitors that they should not hunt Pokemons there. Who in their right mind hunts pokemons in a Museum of Genocide? I would have taken a photo of it... but there was another sign forbidding photography.

 

People (including photograpers) behaving badly whilst abroad is going to be more and more in the news as locals start to loose patience.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/world/europe/selfie-vacation-damage-majorca-paris-ibiza-rome.html?_r=0

 

Venice for one is losing patience with mass tourism. Having been in small ports when giant cruise ships have docked I can understand why; the numbers destroy what people have come to see. I don't cruise and try to stay off the beaten track.

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Last month I was visiting the S21 genocide museum in Phnom Penh. In one room there are skulls of victims displayed. There is also a sign for visitors that they should not hunt Pokemons there. Who in their right mind hunts pokemons in a Museum of Genocide? I would have taken a photo of it... but there was another sign forbidding photography.

 

People (including photograpers) behaving badly whilst abroad is going to be more and more in the news as locals start to loose patience.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/world/europe/selfie-vacation-damage-majorca-paris-ibiza-rome.html?_r=0

 

Venice for one is losing patience with mass tourism. Having been in small ports when giant cruise ships have docked I can understand why; the numbers destroy what people have come to see. I don't cruise and try to stay off the beaten track.

 

 

Distressing but true. I can think of a number of wonderful places I visited years ago that have now been totally screwed up by mass tourism. Humongous cruise ships are definitely to blame in a lot of cases. Perhaps it's time to haul out the rusty cannons and point them back out to sea.

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Last month I was at the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

Many people there felt compelled to pose for photographs with a cheesey smiley face whilst doing that V sign.

To me it was as though they had no empathy for those who'd lost loved ones.

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Last month I was at the 9/11 Memorial in New York.

Many people there felt compelled to pose for photographs with a cheesey smiley face whilst doing that V sign.

To me it was as though they had no empathy for those who'd lost loved ones.

That's absolutely appalling - it just shows the lack of respect people have for the human race.  Unbelievable.

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I didn't understand because I don't think of the v sign as a bad thing (though some of the behavior at the 9/11 Memorial can certainly seem oddly oblivious to the meaning of the place). So I looked up the v sign and saw that it can have a negative meaning....  so maybe just a cultural misunderstanding...

 

Paulette

 

V-sign

noun
 
  1. 1
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the palm of the hand facing outward, used as a symbol or gesture of victory or peace.
  2. 2
    BRITISH
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the back of the hand facing outward, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
     
     
     
     
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I didn't understand because I don't think of the v sign as a bad thing (though some of the behavior at the 9/11 Memorial can certainly seem oddly oblivious to the meaning of the place). So I looked up the v sign and saw that it can have a negative meaning....  so maybe just a cultural misunderstanding...

 

Paulette

 

V-sign

noun
 
  1. 1
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the palm of the hand facing outward, used as a symbol or gesture of victory or peace.
  2. 2
    BRITISH
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the back of the hand facing outward, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
     
     
     
     

 

 

 

Yep! You got it.

 

Not sure how long those hand signs have been around but I think Winston Churchill instigated the first "Victory sign" or at least popularised it with the masses during WWII.

 

Allan

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I didn't understand because I don't think of the v sign as a bad thing (though some of the behavior at the 9/11 Memorial can certainly seem oddly oblivious to the meaning of the place). So I looked up the v sign and saw that it can have a negative meaning....  so maybe just a cultural misunderstanding...

 

Paulette

 

V-sign

noun
 
  1. 1
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the palm of the hand facing outward, used as a symbol or gesture of victory or peace.
  2. 2
    BRITISH
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the back of the hand facing outward, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
     
     
     
     

 

Always imagine the cover of this book when thinking of the offensive V sign, or "two fingered salute"... https://www.abebooks.co.uk/books/Newsletters/shatteredchildhood.shtml?cm_mmc=nl-_-nl-_-cme_shatteredchildhood-_-online

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We seem to have drifted away from the OP.

 

The writer in Bill's link say: "I’m aghast. This tree and several others were broken off like this for no other reason than to make a picture; they are not in the way of anything like a path, but are broken off to clear the view—as is obvious standing there for the line of sight. Someone simply broke down what was “in the way”. 

 
It's "obvious" to me that the writer is assuming what happened. There are many other possibilities that could result in a broken limb. There are a number wild animals native to the Lundy Canyon that could have broken off the branch. As seen in the image below, beavers have built a number of dams in the canyon, and as you can see, they break off branches to do this. 
 
Also, in the image posted, a cleared, better view was not in fact created. Now I do NOT know what actually happened. But the guy who posted the text  and picture doesn't know what happened either. 
 
 
420099.jpg
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Perspective required here methinks. I confess that I occasionally do a bit of "gardening" to get a shot, but nothing "destructive".  As a long established allotment holder and grower of miscellaneous trees and shrubs, I know that you have to go pretty wild to do any permanent damage. Most plants respond favourably to a bit of light pruning.

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Must say I am guilty of this at times.

 

Like removing some blades of grass that were dancing about in front of a flower.

 

Moving dead twigs.

 

Kicking a stone aside when it was in the way.

 

Sorry I won't do it again. :(

 

Allan

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Since everyone has become a photographer, I see photographic degradation all the time.

 
Want to find the best spot to photograph a wilderness scene? It’s like tracking deer. Follow the beaten down path and arrive at the best photographic view, with branches already broken and cleared to the side. 
 
Flower patch? note the trampled flowers, and the one wilted picked blossom propped up on a tree branch for a better angle on a macro shot.
 
Abandoned bird’s nest in the spring? Note the abandoned nest dangerously exposed to all and sundry, because a photographer has trimmed back foliage in order to get a clear shot.
 
Note the tripod holes and old chair in front of an abandoned fox den. Abandoned because the nervous mother fox has taken the considerable risk of moving her babies to another den away from the photographer.
 
Talk to a farmer who compliments you on not tromping into his wheat field, and trampling the crop, like the last photographer.
 
In the bottom image on the blog referenced, note that some human has used a saw on the old cuts near the bottom. On the fresh cut, the cuts are probably done with a knife and not by a beaver. A beaver’s handiwork is not nearly so neat. The cuts are very regular. The cuts are on 3 sides only. A beaver tends to work on all sides of the tree leaving a central stub. A beaver would allow the tree to snap off under its own weight leaving a rough edge on the top. It looks like systematic cuts until the tree was ready to fall. The tree was then held upright with a human hand for more cutting, until severed neatly by the final cut across the top.
 
In the top photo with the broken branch, large wild animals would brush the tree aside, or pull it over, and not break it at all. The tree would then snap back to normal. Beavers chew near the bottom, not part way up the tree. If it was a beaver the break would be partially chewed. There is no chewing on the break. A Beaver would have hauled off the top part of the shrub. Rather someone has placed one hand below the break and the other hand above, and snapped off the top of the shrub. Done in order to get a clear photographic view of the lake. Why else would a none photographer break off the branch?
 
In the top and bottom photo I think a better view was created with the breaking of the tree. Move just to the right of the broken limb, and use a wide angle lens. You then have an uncluttered image of the foreground water leading the eye into a lake reflecting the surrounding mountains all balanced by the large rock in foreground right. The photographer could have got the shot by getting in front of the entire tree clump, but then he would have got his feet wet. That is why he broke off the limb, and also chopped the tree in the bottom photo.
 
The tree damage is even further upsetting, because at high altitudes it takes trees a very long time to grow.
 
I pointed out the post because I think all photographers have a real responsibility to leave things as they were before, even if it means we get our feet wet, or miss a shot.
 
Phillipe has a good solution with his string.
Edited by Bill Brooks
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I didn't understand because I don't think of the v sign as a bad thing (though some of the behavior at the 9/11 Memorial can certainly seem oddly oblivious to the meaning of the place). So I looked up the v sign and saw that it can have a negative meaning....  so maybe just a cultural misunderstanding...

 

Paulette

 

V-sign

noun
 
  1. 1
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the palm of the hand facing outward, used as a symbol or gesture of victory or peace.
  2. 2
    BRITISH
    a sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the back of the hand facing outward, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
     
     
     
     

 

"I have traveled twice to your country," he said.

I wasn't aware of the other meaning until someone who saw the photo pointed it out to me.

China-01.jpg

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All that sounds pretty reasonable, Bill. Thanks. One of your drinking buddies is a Mohawk guide, maybe? 

 

The V sign? Is it that the palm is out for peach and victory, and the palm is in for a negative message?

Edited by Ed Rooney
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EDO:

 

I wish I had a aboriginal buddy, they can be a very big help in the wilderness.

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Must say I am guilty of this at times.

 

Like removing some blades of grass that were dancing about in front of a flower.

 

Moving dead twigs.

 

Kicking a stone aside when it was in the way.

 

Sorry I won't do it again. :(

 

Allan

 

I too am guilty as charged, although I consider slight adjustments like these to be cosmetic rather than destructive.

 

Personally, when I spy a herd of camera-toting Homo sapiens, I tread lightly -- but as quickly as I can --  in the opposite direction.  B)

Edited by John Mitchell

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Well, we have two very recent cases particularly bad in Portugal. The most recent a 300 year old sculpture, and previously a 19th century statue in the facade of a building of the neo-manueline style and a landmark for several reasons. Both were tourists from the selfie brigade, but nonetheless there was a photo involved.

 

img_492x324$2016_11_07_22_23_19_574633.j

 

IMG_98642.jpg

 

ng6668861.jpg

 

 

rossio-1.jpg

Edited by Jose Elias

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I don't believe I've ever broken anything here in the city, and I have to spend most of my Photoshop PP time cleaning up the virtual streets.   :mellow:

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Here is a article about loving a place to death.
 
 
Consider Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. The park had 1,399,247 visitors in 2015. If there are 100 serious photographers visiting daily, with 20 of those photographers being stock photographers, that means 7,200 of your competitors are shooting the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park per year. If they each post 10 shots to their portfolios, then that is 72,000 new shots of Delicate Arch every year. 360 X 20 =7,200. 10 X 7,200 = 72,000
 
Alamy search "Delicate Arch"  "Arches National Park" = 2,057 
 
Does anybody really need another stock shot of Delicate Arch?
 
The article gives some good alternate stock suggestions.
 

 

My suggestion would be the same as the authors, to take the road less traveled.

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The other way is to turn your back on the landmark image and take what you see there.

 

For instance I turned my back on Kings college chapel in Cambridge.

 

king-college-chapel-from-kings-parade-ca

 

 

 

And took this.

 

wood-frame-buildings-kings-parade-cambri

 

 

 

Allan

Edited by Allan Bell
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The other way is to turn your back on the landmark image and take what you see there.

 

 

Sporting events as well.

Rather than photograph the sport/event, photograph the spectators in the stands instead (for someone like me who doesn't like any sport, people watching is much more interesting!).

 

Phil

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