The Noisy Photographer: Stop Talking

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UT
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, UT

A couple years ago, I spent several days shooting in the Moab area at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. Unfortunately, the sun played hide ‘n’ seek, and it was mostly “hide.” On two mornings I was at Mesa Arch, hoping to capture the glow that comes with sunrise as I had on a previous trip. It was not to be. The sky remained overcast and I didn’t get any memorable shots like the one I captured a couple of years earlier (above). Not surprisingly, there were 8 other photographers there (typical for Mesa Arch, although I had it to myself a couple years before) and we were tripod-to-tripod, waiting for sunrise. It was December and very cold, but that’s we signed up for.

Stop TalkingWhat I didn’t sign up for was endless yammering. Naturally, there was talk about the sunrise and comments about the chill, but then it devolved to, “Have you ever photographed _____?” It became sort of a competition about who had been where, and most of it wasn’t related to photography.  I flew 2,500 miles and drove another 300 to take in the beauty of the national parks, and instead of soaking it in, I had to listen to chatter. Can’t we just enjoy silence for a few minutes and experience what we came to see?

They probably thought I was unfriendly, because I was pointedly silent. I often chat with other photographers at a destination, but not when I’m actually shooting. I would have been content to keep the talk to a minimum so I could enjoy the arch and the landscape around me. Instead, it mindless babbling.

Thanks for listening (assuming you can hear me over the blather.)

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