The Most Annoying Thing About Landscape Photographers

As much as we might hate to admit it, we all have things that really get under our skin when it comes to other people or groups of people. Landscape photographers are not immune to our petty grumbles, but what's the most annoying thing about them?

I've been surfing close to 40 years now and have long surpassed Malcolm Gladwell's supposed 10,000-hour barometer of mastery. I've never surfed professionally or been interested in competitions, so it's a meaningless gauge, but it does mean that I've reached a level of proficiency whereby I enjoy going into the ocean alone, away from the crowds and the notion of safety in numbers. Where I live in the south of Japan, my local beach is well over five kilometers long, so nothing annoys me more than when I paddle out to a spot alone, only for another surfer to join me a matter of minutes later. "You've got a whole beach," I think. Why paddle out here?

And that annoyance brings us to this great video by Henry Turner, in which he discusses the most annoying thing about landscape photographers. As you can imagine, it relates to photographers rocking up to a majestically beautiful spot and sticking their tripods a few feet from the photographer next to them. Turner lives in the north of England, where he has the gorgeous Lakes District and Yorkshire Dales National Park to shoot, among other stunning areas. But it really annoys him when he sees landscape photographers all lining up next to each other or next to him in order to get a certain shot. Originality and the spirit of adventure are lost in such moments, he opines. Give the video a look and let me know your thoughts on the matter.

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. Fstoppers is where he writes about photography, but he's also a 5x Top Writer on Medium, where he writes about his expat (mis)adventures in Japan and other things not related to photography. To view his writing, click the link above.

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"The Most Annoying Thing About Landscape Photographers" --- Some of their videos.

Most annoying thing; a bunch of people lined up with tripods and all making the same photo, over and over again for half an hour, too close to the subject to frame them out (with the attitude; i put my tripod here first so the place is mine; not very different from the resort tourists who put their towel at the pool in the morning..).
I understand you want that perfect thought out shot. But i know when i got it, and right after that i want to take the camera off the tripod and explore the place. Playing time. Instead of making that same standard photo over and over. But i can't because people "hostage" the place. Give some space please.

So true!

Last summer, I went to several National Parks. It got to the point where I could imagine three small depressions in the ground, and the unwritten sign, "Place tripod HERE!"

I mean, seriously, there must be more than one place to take a good photo in Antelope Canyon!

Except the "perfect" photo may not be just the location of your tripod. Waiting for the wind to drop, the sun to set, a bird to land, the special sauce to magically appear and make your shot stand out from the rest. A bit like the authors surfing analogy. I'm not a surfer but even I know the waves generally break in one place and you have to be there for a while to catch the perfect one.