Does a location being "touristy" diminish the value of photographing it?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by TheGreatGasMaskMan, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. TheGreatGasMaskMan

    TheGreatGasMaskMan Member

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    Over a month ago, I was talking with another photographer about Arizona, and she brought up Jerome, and I'd been there last year (though somewhat briefly, due to me having a 6:00 AM flight in Phoenix), and I said that Jerome didn't strike me as being very photographic due to it being very touristy. She was kind of shocked I said this, and I'm sure other people here would react the same way. But this got me thinking, Can touristy places still produce quality photographs? And to challenge my own point, here's some images I took in Jerome this year on a 12ish years expired provia 100. pv014.jpg
     

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  2. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    sure they can, although sometimes it can be difficult. Every time I go to Vegas I am so repulsed by the fakeness of it all that my camera barely leaves its bag.
     
  3. hoffy

    hoffy Subscriber

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    Of course it can.
     
  4. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Does a location being "touristy" diminish the value of photographing it?

    Not if you have a uniquely different way of photographing that location/feature or by committing it to a format that has not been seen or done before e.g. wet plate, pinhole, multi-exposure, lith film... endless possibility limited only to one's imagination. Going to a location and photographing the same thing in the same way as legions of others is self-defeating, but it can serve as a springboard to getting the abovementioned task under way: looking at the image and considering how you (not others!) could make it different and/or better, but not the same.
     
  5. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    It doesn't decrease the value. It increases the challenge of doing something original. Try to find a different viewpoint, a different context, a wider or longer view, or a view of the viewers viewing.
     
  6. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I agree entirely.

    There is also the point of the reason we are taking photos....are we wanting to produce something original and artistic, are we enjoying the pleasure of just taking photos, both from the intention of producing a great result and handling any technical challenges, or are we making a record to look back in the future on times and places we have enjoyed. None of these are incompatible, and that is the great pleasure of our hobby,
     
  7. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Tourists traps are great, because like sunsets everyone is looking one way. Turn your camera in the opposite direction.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    location matters almost as much as brand of camera or film ...
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When in Turkey/Greece I mainly shoot in tourist areas, in some cases very busy. It's harder to get the shots I want but it can be done and they differ from the tourist shots.

    Ian
     
  10. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    +1
    Perfect example is HCB and coronation of King George VI.
     
  11. guangong

    guangong Subscriber

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    If by touristy you mean places like Vas Vegas,they provide opportunities galore. If,on the other hand, you mean famous sites flooded by sight seeing, conditions can be very difficult to photograph because of obstruction by crowds. Now it seems most tourists have no real interest in such sites other than to take a selfy. For example, didn’t expect to see such masses of humanity visiting monuments in Egypt. Most pictures published were shot by arrangement with authorities.
     
  12. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Try going to the "touristy" location at sunrise or if you want to do "street" photography. I have gotten many of my favorite images at what would be considered tourist locations. After all when I am there I am a tourist. Most of the images in albums 2,3 and4 on my website were taken when I was a tourist at those locations.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  13. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    Many places are touristy specifically because they are photogenic.
     
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  15. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Places don't produce quality photographs; photographers do.
     
  16. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    • No
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Does a location being "touristy" diminish the value of photographing it?

    No, the value comes from the composition that you make. It is really about your ability to see, think and compose.
     
  18. mark

    mark Member

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    I live less than 10 minutes from Antelope canyon. I have no desire to photograph it. The endless onslaught of Antelope Canyon photos leaves me with no desire. Plus the insane crowds are a total turn off. Horseshoe bend, one of my favorite places, is quickly becoming this way for me.

    It maybe that I am at a point where the photograph is secondary to the experience of being there.
     
  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    You funny boy! Or what developer you are using....
     
  20. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    Touristy... as in Rome, Paris, Moscow, London, Yellowstone or Yosemite NP?
     
  21. NJH

    NJH Member

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    No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to take postcard pictures.
     
  22. slackercrurster

    slackercrurster Member

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    OP...none of this matter. Just roadblocks in your head.

    Street photography is like fishing, sometimes you get a bite other times not. Just put in the footwork and see what you get. But you can never force it.
     
  23. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Of course they can. Each photographer has different motivations and interests when it comes to photography. Some hate the "postcard" shot, others want to make their own. I live in a touristy place, probably the most touristed city in the country, yet it's still a photogenic place for the majority of people who come here. But I will admit that because I live here, and because I hate dealing with the crowds, it does force me to go beyond and find places that most people are not aware of. We don't always have that luxury when we travel. I'm not against the postcard shot (I've shot many myself), but it's often not very interesting and/or I find touristy places (mostly in the West, but Japan as well) to be quite sterile, and lacking personality.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Yes, it takes patience to get photographs without people.
     
  25. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Or an alarm clock so you get up before those pesky humans.
     
  26. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Yes, or a tripod and long exposure to blur them out.
     
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