As children we’re taught that sharing is the way to go, but too often it feels like photographers forget that basic lesson. It’s a common debate that comes up: do you share your settings and locations?
Every once in a while, you’ll see photographers parse over the merits or demerits of sharing a location they’ve found for a photo. While sometimes it’s a legitimate fear of many photographers harming nature or a zombie photographer horde ruining a spot for a photo with too many people, other times, it’s just a plain selfish move.
It’s the same for settings. Many photographers on Flickr and elsewhere go to extra lengths just to remove EXIF data from photos that show how they were shot. Again, what’s the reasoning?
If a photo can be recreated merely by standing in the same spot and using the same settings, then it’s inherently not an original concept. Time of day, weather, clouds, water, fog, and myriad other factors are what make the photo, not just f-stops and shutter speeds.
The best friends I’ve made are the ones that I’ve bonded with over a camera. A request about settings or a location is an opening to make a new photographer friend. That is something that doesn’t happen if every photographer is huddled over their cameras in a corner of the room, not talking to one another.
Just think about it: if teachers hoarded knowledge of the alphabet, you wouldn’t be able to read this sentence.
I’ll put my money where my mouth is. The photo for this article was shot at the Valley of Fire state park in Nevada, and it was shot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III using an EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens set to f/8 and a 30 second exposure at ISO 320. If you’re wondering how the sparks get there, it’s a technique called steel wool spinning. I’d be highly cautious and selective about the steel wool part, as it can be very, very dangerous.
How do you feel about sharing settings and locations of your photos?