Last year I began posting a series of essays on things I learned about photography that I did not learn in a textbook. Hence the name:
Photography After the Textbook
To date, I’ve written seven or so of these essays and will be reposting them here, on OnlinePhotographyTraining.com — rewritten for clarity where needed**. I will write new ones as well, when the muse strikes me.
Here is the second essay I wrote, titled:
Snowy Owls, Waterfalls, and Much More
Until recently, Snowy Owls were a rare sight to see in my neck of the woods. Recently they’ve been visiting more frequently and have become a target for area photographers. Around a year ago, I saw a photographer write this on social media:
I was out at 7 am and found a Snowy Owl on the waterfront. I took several shots – here are a few of my favorites. After I was there an hour, two women and a child came by, and it was obvious they were looking for the Snowy. By this time, the owl moved back a bit and was camouflaged on the ice. The people were looking and looking. I just walked by, got in my car and left.
I read this and was flabbergasted. Here were some people that probably never have seen a Snowy Owl in the wild and would have been thrilled to see one. According to him, they went out of their way, getting up early, heading out in the cold for a chance to glimpse one, and this knucklehead didn’t have the inclination to point out the owl for them?
Before I go much further let me say that I agree with the premise that a photographer shouldn’t post the exact location of their wildlife images because if they do, invariably, a gaggle of photographers will descend upon that spot causing undue stress to the wildlife there. This was different. These two adults were already there and brought a child along to glimpse the owl yet he thought the right thing to do was to say nothing, get in his car and drive away, with his memories of the owl captured to his memory cards.
A few months ago, a different photographer posted an excellent picture of a waterfall on Facebook. Several people asked him where it was and he said he wasn’t going to tell and was keeping it secret.
Are these people afraid someone will take a better picture or do they think if they keep an exclusive to something such as a Snowy Owl or waterfall, it’s somehow worth more?
If you’re continually self-promoting without helping others, you won’t be doing this long, and It has been my experience in life that those that share and are helpful, get much more in return and success to them comes sooner and easier.
There are no secrets in photography, and no matter how good you are or how beautiful your picture may be, there are photographers out there who are better, and there are pictures created by others that are more beautiful.
Get over it.
**In the original article I wasn’t clear concerning my stance on posting the location of wildlife on social media. In this repost of the article, I rewrote a paragraph to make my feelings more clear.