View Full Version : Too many cameras. Ever have this experience?
This general experience has happened to me quite frequently throughout my years as a photographer. I picked a camera and flash and went to an event tonite, but when I arrived there were LOTS of photographers.
This is an eccentric and creative crowd, a photographers dream...but beyond the visual aspect...these are my friends. I've been hangin' out with this loose conglomeration of folks for quite a few years. So, speaking JUST as a photographer, I've got the inside track. But I look around...
There's the Leica guy, the gal with the Holga, two photographers with Mamiya 7 medium format RF's, a lurking undercover professional photographer with a high-level point & shoot, an unabashed professional with a Nikon D3, lots of amateurs with low-level digital SLR's, a slew of amateur point & shoots, a video professional with a 3ccd camera, and lots of low level videocameras. All the photographers were cooperative and polite with each other, but that said, they were all aggressively stalking imagery.
I looked around, and thought to myself, "does this place really need one more guy with a camera? It looks like these varied photographers have got this event more than covered."
So I left my camera in the bag and didn't take even one photo tonite. Seems a little weird, given that I'm the photographer that is close to this crowd, eh?
I calculated certain 'A' level celebrities would be at a certain location and so did fifty other photographers and National Geo TV. I walked away with a photo of the President so it wasnt a complete bust.
I feel the exact same way sometimes. Specially living in a tourist city, I feel I have to challenge myself NOT to take the exact same photos that a zillion other people have taken. Every corner of my city has pretty much been photographed, and the ones that have not, are pretty mundane and sanitized, nothing that appeals to me. So In this aspect, I have to change my style and be a bit more aggressive to get shots that no one would dare get... but i'm still working on that.
It would have been interesting to see how the results differ (if at all) from one photog to another. As ken above had mentioned, it's a challenge to get that unique photo...
When at an event with my camera and I see trillions of cameras about, I take it as an opportunity to test myself with respect to capturing images that don't look like the others'. Sometimes I succeed, but most often not.... regardless of the outcome though it's just something that I have fun with.
This happened to me on boxing day. Went up with friend and horse horse to the boxing day hunt. It was a scent hunt as hunting animals with hounds has been banned in the UK. Massive amount of pro and semi pro camera fire power on display. They were all complaining about the constantly changing light. It was going from f4 to f16 in a blink and there was me with an M3 and Nockton 40mm with a sekonic 208 and a small Lumix point and shoot. Nightmare . Not only was the light all over the place but so were the sixty or so horses so you needed to compose and shoot very quickly.
My solution was to try and keep up with the light as best I could, zone focus and try and find the more intimate shots that were being ignored by the big lense dslr crowd.
Interestigly I got a few comments of the "used to have one of those ,nice camera" kind
Never. If I want to take photos, I do. I have gone to events just to enjoy them and not taken photos, but I go with that in mind - or I discover when I get there that photography is either not allowed or that I'm not prepared well enough. I don't generally notice other photographers anyway.
I am having such a feeling this moment. Which camera/lens set to take with me on a brief photo-family drive to who knows where. In the end, it is a rewarding hobby that has kept me out of trouble [as they say], and very happy. So what if this took several cameras and lenses? No harm done.
Too many photographers? Change your aim, don't phograph the event, photograph the other photographers while they're using their cameras.
If you are not being paid to cover the event or expecting to make money selling the photographs from the event does it make a difference if you take any pictures or not? Do what you feel is best. Like a knife fight there are not rules.
I now limit myself to one camera per format. I use a Nikon F100 for 35mm, a Mamiya 7II for MF, and a Crown Graphic for LF. My digital camera is a Nikon D700 so that I can use the same lenses as my F100.
I was in Eastman House in Rochester the other day...I really wanted to take pictures of some stuff in the mansion, but a lot of the time I just gave up...there were too many people like me. I seemed to be the only one with the LX3 though!
I avoid situations like that. If there are a bunch of other photographers there, what's the point of me shooting just another photo of the same thing? I'd go somewhere else.
I love those sort of situations, I actually enjoy the presence of other photographers, they give me a sense of security. Also with so many photographers around people start to get used to them so things become more interesting.
Photography is not like fishing, the more photographers there are the better.
at first i thought the same thing, why do i want to take photos of something that i can find a billion photos of on flickr (that are probably way better)? so then i tried to take more unique photos of the subjects and come up with something different. but now i'm past that stage, who cares if someone else has taken the same photo?
unless you're doing this professionally, what does it matter? if i'm happy with the photo that's great, and if there are people i can share my photos with who might enjoy the photos even better.
like vacation photos, a lot of them will be the same tourist places but i'm sure my friends don't mind taking a look, just to see where i've been. even if it's the same thing, it's nice to note changes and slightly different perspectives and emphasis.
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