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Thread: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Westport Island, Maine

    Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Our latest Fine Focus Workshop completed, I was cleaning out all the junk a fellow instructor left in my van, finding among the empty and full water bottles, coffee cups, donut crumbs, and paper napkins his fine digital SLR and his Linhof tripod. It occurred to me that there are unspoken “Commandments of Cruising for Snaps” with others. I started writing them down. There are more than ten. Here’s the first installment, “Photographing Commandments.”

    Students left my van clean, by the way. An instructor left all the stuff. He knows who he is.

    “Vehicle Commandments” and “Restaurant Commandments” will follow.

    What did I miss? We’re adding this to our 80-plus-page handout, credit will be given to additions we decide to incorporate.


    Thou shalt be allowed to call for a stop to photograph at any time, and it shall be done.

    Thou shalt share thy favorite secret places with thy companions, especially if thou likest thy companions.

    Thou art allowed to swear them to secrecy concerning the location of thy secret places, including turning off those damn GPS things.

    Thou shalt work efficiently and quickly, so that others do not constantly wait for thee.

    Thou shalt wait patiently for others who work more slowly than thee, or make more pictures.

    Thou shalt not tread in thy companions’ pictures, especially in snow.

    Thou shalt refrain from critiquing thy companions’ pictures, unless specifically asked to do so.

    Thou shalt refrain from asking to look through another’s groundglass or viewfinder.

    Thou shalt only murmur appreciatively if asked to look through another’s groundglass.

    Thou shalt not seek out thy companions’ tripod holes after they depart them.

    Thou shalt not stare or shoot over thy companions’ shoulder.

    Thou shalt be enthusiastically supportive of companions, no matter how bad thou thinkest art their pictures.

    Thou shalt bring all needed equipment and film, so that thou doest refrain from mooching.

    Thou shalt refrain from distracting others while they concentrate on making their photographs.

    Thou shalt refrain from placing thy companions at risk of physical harm by taking them to places too dangerous.

    If thou makest pictures of thy companions in action, thou owest them prints, no matter how unsuccessful thou thinkest the photographs, or how ugly art thy companions.

    ..with tongue only partly in cheek,
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"

  2. #2
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Good list, Bruce.

    I might quibble with, "Thou shalt refrain from asking to look through another’s groundglass". Doing so (politely, and once only) might be permitted if their GG is substantially larger than your own.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Phoenix, AZ

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps


    Great list! I'd like to pass it on. Art thou the one to credit for such erudite pronouncements?

  4. #4
    Scott Davis
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Washington DC

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Another one to add...

    Thou shalt not request to borrow lenses even if they are on the same lensmount or compatible lensboard, unless the owner of said lens is in a generous mood and trying to show off the lens.

  5. #5
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    North Carolina

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    "As thou dost not critique thy companion's pictures, thou shalt likewise not criticize their equipment or film choices unless specifically invited, and then only constructively; similarly shalt thou not preach of the Zone System except to those who ask to hear that Gospel."
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Thou shalt covet thy neighbors gear.

    General Cruising rules (which are not specific to photography)

    Thou shalt call "shotgun" for the front seat, but only once thine car is in sight.

    Thou shalt not eat beans (etc) the night before Thy Holy Road Trip.

    If thou hast eaten beans the night before, but before The Trip was planned, thou shalt not pass malodorus vapors with the windows up.

    Thine driver controls the tunes. Anyone caught changing said tunes shall be smote.
    Last edited by Terence McDonagh; 24-May-2006 at 15:18.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Culver City, CA

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Quote Originally Posted by Terence McDonagh
    Thou shalt call "shotgun" for the front seat, but only once thine car is in sight.
    Hahahahahahahaha....check out the following link for some "official" shotgun rules.

    My favorite rule is "Ozzie Pissbolt".

  8. #8

    Talking Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    LOL - Great thread.

    "Thou shalt not attempt to maketh a fine photograph in the hamlet of Fresno, as doing so is not possible"

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Richmond, VA

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps


    Great List!!!

    I may be guilty of breaking a couple of your commandments. But, just the other day I was out "cruisin' fer snaps" with two good friends and when they departed I had a good laugh as I cleaned my vehicle of their empty coffee digital cameras left behind though.

    I too, can curse those damn GPS things, mine malfunctioned and I failed to properly mark a wonderful "secret" place.....good think that map I purchased had the power plant marked :-)

    One to add to your list...
    Thou shall inquire, in advance, if fellow photographers have their life insurance paid up prior to having them risk their lives in order to reach said secret location.

    Much darkroom work ahead,


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Pasadena, CA

    Re: Commandments of Cruising for Snaps

    Great list!

    Plus, depending upon thy company,

    1. Thou shalt get up early and not doddle or potch when departing.

    2. Thou shalt feed thyself or bring lunch and not get hungry at dusk or dawn.

    3. Thou shalt not insist upon departing when the light is getting just right.

    4. Thou shalt bring good luck, weather and light.

    5. Thou shalt avoid the scented oils, parfumes and pungent cheeses.

    6. If thou doest ask another to bringeth film or renteth long lenses, thou
    shalt pay the bearer of same promptly for such reliefs.

    7. Thou shalt not moon the park rangers or wildlife at any time or otherwise
    draw undue attention to thyself.

    8. Thou shalt never complain, gripe, moan, sob or otherwise whine.

    9. Thou shalt refrain from references to patron saints such as Ansel, and avoid
    any duplications of the sacred works.

    10.If thy mood doth not suit making photographs, thou shalt be open minded
    to serve as a prop or talent, or at least diggeth the carriage from the
    sand or mud when asked, or serve as moveable ballast when aboard a
    ship at sea.

    11.Thou shalt taketh no short cuts, and stick to the plan at all times.

    12.Thou shalt indeed have a plan, in advance, and discuss it with others
    to ensure harmony.

    13.Thou shalt not chimp over the images in thy digital camera, or claim
    to have some advantage over others for posessing such a device.

    14.Thou shalt drive slow and away from others on the dirt trails, such as
    thy dust maketh a foul cloud over them.

    Frankly, I don't believe that photography cruising is a very good group sport
    when images are desired. It's is fun as long as nobody is too serious about it, and
    good to have company while scouting. Very few people can do group
    photography shoots and still come back home as friends. Cheers to all
    that have done it, and still do - you've got to be good people!!!


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