EALY MORNING, FREEZING TEMPATURES AND SOLITUDE
When I first started to shoot I was out there everyday by myself with an occasional meeting with another photographer. I liked the quiet and could let my mind wander. The biggest thing was I got there when I wanted and left when I wanted. The more I ventured out the more people I met. More than not it was very helpful most of the time with picking someone else's mind on techniques. Photographers are a friendly bunch and most will go out of their way to help another photographer. If you are around a group the most heard comments or question is what F stop, Shutter and ISO are you shooting. It became a pet peeve. Most of my experience with others has been OK. However, the trips that went wrong sticks in your mind the most. One clueless person with no idea of group etiquettes can make you wish you would have drove yourself. I have spend many hours not taking any photos just hoping the other person wanted to go. It isn't all bad. I have gained a lot by watching others and asking about their thought processes. I am not a teacher nor do I want to be. I prefer to be shooting and showing things to someone. The biggest thing I see photographers do wrong is not reading the manual, shoot some and read again. You have to learn the terminology. Not all brands are the same. When I meet a new photographer who starts asking questions I ask some questions to see what they may know. Then I usually help them change some simple settings to help see if they are over or under exposing. If they are shooting auto I try to show them how they can be artistic by using manual settings. Not too much info at one time. If I know I am going to be with a newbie I will tell them to bring their manual. I am used to my camera and can do a lot more than the consumer ones. This type of mentoring is not good in the group setting. Many won't ask questions in a group, all questions are not stupid. They may not have an option I have. Sometimes you won't get a chance to not be in a group. Workshops or gaining access to some locations may be required or too expensive. Try some inclement weather, shooting in the night or gain access to restricted areas if you prefer to shoot alone. A BAD DAY OF PHOTAGRAPHY IS BETTER THAN A GOOD DAY OF NO PHOTOGRAPHY!
No matter what happens saying nothing is always the best policy. Burning bridges someone said is not a good thing.