View Full Version : I need to make a photographical rant

Sad, little man
March 6th, 2016, 07:31 AM
What kind of obligation do you think someone photographing a public event has to everyone else involved in that event?

I have seen photos from this one guy popping up online since seeing him taking photos at an event, and he really kind of irks me. He doesn't seem to have any concern for how obtrusive he is while taking photos, and his entire craft seems to hinge on one gimmicky style of taking photos.

At the event I was at where he was taking photos, he positioned himself right up near the stage, admittedly crouched down, but then when he wanted to take photos, he would raise up, and literally, LITERALLY wave his camera around in front of the band that was playing while snapping photos. The reason I knew he was taking photos is that he was using a big external flash on his camera with a diffuser on it. There are just so many things about this that rub me the wrong way.

First and absolutely foremost, the goddamn flash! This was a dimly lit venue, and it was giving me a headache to try to watch the band play while this guy's flash was popping off multiple times a minute. It was pointed straight up, and because of the diffuser, a lot of flash got thrown back towards the audience. Granted, it had been a long day for me, and I was tired, but this guy's photo taking was actually giving me a headache. I despise flashes for a few reasons... First, obviously, it's annoying to everyone involved. Second, to me, they totally ruin the photos and the intent of the photos. If you want to capture how something truly looks, a flash completely ruins that. All you're doing is capturing how a moment would look if lightning was striking at the moment you took the photo. It's not real, it didn't look that way if you were there! Lastly, they might have had their place back when film cameras were still around, but I feel like the sensitivity of modern digital cameras has rendered flashes unnecessary in almost all conditions. Surely, no matter how low the light, you can find a lens/camera combo that's able to capture the photo without needing to resort to a damn flash.

Second, the guy was not even looking through the camera while taking photos. He would extend his arm and wave his arm back and forth while taking photos. All of his photos have these little light streaks in them due to the combination of moving the camera while taking the photo and having the flash going. Don't get me wrong, I experiment with weird styles of taking photos, but that's all this guy's photos are! Just a bunch of blindly taken snaps that all rely on this lighting gimmick. He doesn't seem to ever just take a normal photo.

If I ever take photos of something in public, I try to be as absolutely unobtrusive as possible. No flash, ever. And I don't even really like taking photos of quiet music performances where there's a potential for the sound of the shutter cycling to be heard alongside the music that's going on. I feel like people photographing things have an obligation to everyone involved to be as invisible and silent as possible. But some people, like this guy, seem to have the viewpoint that having a good camera gives them the right to intrude into what's going on to any extent needed as long as they get good shots. I mean, I guess they just don't realize how intrusive they're being? Or maybe they just value getting good photos over everyone else's enjoyment? I mean, wtf.

I guess if anything, this is pushing me to take more photos of events like this, in a respectful manner, and without relying on some stupid gimmick. If nothing else, I feel the need to counteract people like this guy.

March 6th, 2016, 09:33 AM
If he's a paid photographer, there's not much to say. Deal with it.

If he is not a paid photographer, then consider asking him to back off if it bothers you that much.

You seem to know enough about photography to realize that you need to use a flash to capture action in a dark environment.

It's OK to take photos without looking through the viewfinder. I do it often.

Sad, little man
March 6th, 2016, 10:15 AM
Naw, he's not a paid photographer, just doing it for a hobby AFAIK. Yeah, I would say if he was actually hired by someone then clearly he has a job to do and an obligation to get good photos. But at the same time I wouldn't say something to him because I think he does have a right to do whatever he wants like this. I guess I just wish people would be more considerate to others. And I do think at least some of the bands enjoy having those photos of themselves. I dunno, in my mind I try to balance the best of both worlds take good photos for all to enjoy while not annoying anyone in the process.

Regarding the flash, I still say that with modern digicams you can get away with much much lower light photography than people could even five or ten years ago. And I still maintain that flashes give photos a completely un-true to life look.

Yes, there are times when taking photos without really framing them in the viewfinder is fine. It just seems extremely silly when that's how you take all of your photos. I mean really, is it worth it to spend all that money on a good camera setup just to wave it around and make cheesy effects in all your photos? Just seems pointless, but again, I guess people will do whatever.

March 6th, 2016, 11:48 AM
Bring it up with the venue. If he has permission to be doing what he's doing, then not much can be done about it, if he doesn't, then the venue will take care of it.