on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Tripod Wars

When Photographers Collide

David Ward

T-shirt winning landscape photographer, one time carpenter, full-time workshop leader and occasional author who does all his own decorating.


Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be but I find myself (in full grumpy old man mode) wishing that some things in the brave new world of digital photography were more like they once were. An image I recently saw of a crowd shooting autumnal dawn over Maroon Bells in the Colorado Rockies (courtesy of Dale Keller) started me thinking about how photography has almost become a competitive sport at some locations.

Maroon Bells crowd - © Dale Keller

Along a 200m stretch of shoreline 2 or 300 photographers had lined up to take essentially the same composition. Apparently fights have even broken out when one photographer gets into another’s frame. Now, I don't know about you but the prospect of hustle and bustle and a bit of argy-bargy weren’t the things that attracted me to making landscape photographs. 

Apparently fights have even broken out when one photographer gets into another’s frame
I was looking for space away from the madding crowd, a chance for quiet contemplation and the possibility of artistic fulfillment. (Okay, the last one’s about as likely as riding a unicorn) I didn’t expect to be conscripted into the tripod wars!

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