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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.)

Heceta Head Light

Heceta Head Light, Oregon
Squall Approaching Heceta Head.

Easily the most attractive lighthouse on the Oregon coast, Heceta Head light also gets my vote for the easiest to visit and photograph. Heceta Head is about 15 miles or 20+ minutes north of the town of Florence, located on a point next to a small cove (Cape Cove).

Park in the lot and take the easy hike to the lighthouse. However, you can get the best close up shot by climbing the path that winds up the hill behind the lighthouse (above). I wanted to shoot it at night, but the rain storms had other ideas.

Wreck of the Peter Iredale

Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Astoria, OR
Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Astoria, OR

Everybody photographs the Peter Iredale. Everybody.  So, I was surprised when I arrived at sunrise to find about ten photographers practically swarming around the wreck, trying to keep out of each others’ way. More frustrating for me was the fact that they left tripods standing around, making it extremely difficult to shoot a clean frame. I finally asked the leader to round up the hardware, and gradually the tripods disappeared.

I had hoped to photograph the wreck at sunset, but the weather just wouldn’t cooperate, with high winds and heavy rain. So, I was left with a single morning, but it turned out well.

Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Astoria, OR