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Thread: LF Professionalism in the Field?

  1. #1

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    I do much field photography but I use a 6x7 and sometimes encounter other photog raphers. I was recently photographing wildflowers and came across a nationally k nown 4x5 pro who was extremely rude to me. No, it wasn't David or Marc Meunch. ( They are known for their politeness). This guy seemed to think he owned the plac e even though we both knew it was Indian reservation. Not exactly professional b ehavior from this well published LF shooter.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 1999

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    Professional, amatuer, tourist with an instamatic, it doesn't matter. I happen to be a professional photographer. One of the best parts of the experience is experiencing a beautiful location with others that appreciate it as much as you do. If you weren't rude to him or obviously moving into his scenes, there is no excuse for his behaviour. I would expect him to feel embarrassed by his behaviour, and sore from the lump he should have on his head.

  3. #3

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    Hi Steve,

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience. My personal experiance has been exactly the opposite. I run into a lot of "name" pros out in the field, some of them multiple times. Without exception, they have all been VERY friendly and even helpful to me. I try to never interupt anyone while they are working (pro or amature), but if I just pass them on the trail, or notice that they are packing up, I'll introduce myself and chat a while if they seem receptive. Just off the top of my head, the ones I remember meeting are: Jeff Foote (several times - very nice guy), Jack Dykinga (droll sense of humor, he actually ran into me when I was shooting in the Redwoods and I didn't realize who it was until he told me his name at the end of our initial conversation), Larry and Donna Ulrich (great folks), David Muench (very friendly and still very enthusiastic about nature photography), Michael Fatali (in spite of the recent bad press about the Delicate Arch fires, when I met him in Zion a few years back - before the Delicate Arch incident - on a one on one basis, he was very friendly and I enjoyed chatting with him).

    There are others, but that's just a short list. The ONLY rudeness I've ever encountered has been from "wannabees" (and even that has been rare). The established pros seem secure enough to not feel threatened (as long as you aren't interefering with their work). I have no idea who you are referring to, and I won't speculate or ask you to name names. Perhaps you just encountered someone who was having a bad day. It happens to us all. Or maybe it really was someone who makes a habit of being rude to others. There are people like that is all walks of life. I'd like to think that large format nature photographers are above that sort of behavior, but that's just wishful thinking. Given a large enough sample size in any group and there are bound to be one or two stinkers. I hope the next time you meet a "name" pro in the field that your experience is a more positive one.


  4. #4

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    Earlier this year, I ran into a few professionals while shooting the wildflowers at Lost Dutchman State Park, east of Phoenix, AZ. I was surprised by how unfriendly they were -- not even so much as "hello" when you passed by -- but also how careless they were while tromping around off the marked trails. One of them in particular didn't seem to care at all about where he stepped and didn't mind crushing every flower and plant in his path while stalking _his_ images.

    Fortunately, there were two exceptions to the rule -- Kirk Owens was very friendly when we talked to him in the parking lot after the sun had set and an older man whose name I've since forgotten (he was out with his wife and carrying nearly every lens known to man along with an Arca-Swiss 4x5 field) was also polite and friendly -- but it will be quite a while before I forget my encounter with those other three photographers.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 1998

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    This is why I always carry a loaded 9mm Glock handgun when I'm in the field. Not the new models with the wimpy magazines either; the old 17-round models. "Leave only footprints and the dead bodies of jerks."

  6. #6

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    Well, I should better work on my sociability now if I want a chance to stay an a live photographer!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 1999

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    All you guys are lucky, even Steve. I've never even SEEN another large format shooter when I'm out photographing. Of course I'm not usually shooting in national parks, but still it would be nice to run across a kindred soul once in a while. Usually I get people talking to me when I'm under the darkcloth saying that their grandpa used to have a camera "just like that" (highly doubt it) and they express disbelief that anyone would bother with such an old fashioned contraption anymore. (Haven't I heard of those newfangled digital cameras? They take pictures "just as good" and sure are a heck of a lot smaller!)

    So I'd even be happy to see a rude LF shooter once in a while!


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 1998

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    > So I'd even be happy to see a rude LF shooter once in a while!

    Me too. Usually it's either an anorak who has a technoplastik wunderblaster or a few rednecks who turn out to be friendly and utterly fascinated by the contra ption I have. But never anyone else with a big camera.

  9. #9
    Yes, but why? David R Munson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Saitama, Japan

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    The closest I've ever come to seeing another LF guy in the field was when I ran into an older man on a trail who had once upon a time shot 8x10. I had a nice conversation with him, but that was about it with him. Normally, the only people who I see when I'm out with my cameras are hikers, trail runners, and the occasional nature photographer shooting 35mm. Generally, they've all been very nice and I have yet to encounter someone being rude, let alone another photographer.
    So apparently my signature was full of dead links after a few years away...

  10. #10

    LF Professionalism in the Field?

    I've run into a few LF photographers in the field and for the most part everyone has been pretty supportive except for one guy (not to be named) who's ego was wrapped up in the cost of his equipment and his use of colored grad filters to enhance sunsets. The worst photographer I ever ran into was a 35mm portrait photographer who had the gall to see where I was shooting and then have her client ask me if I could hurry up 'cause they liked that spot too. They pretty much just waited to see what shots I was interested in and if they liked it they asked me to move on. I did overhear her tell her client that I was using an "antiquated" camera. Small minds for small film I guess. (no offense out there I own several of those "midget format" cameras)

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