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Top 10 Annoying Things to Say to a Landscape Photographer

DISCLAIMER: Please read the following post with the tone of heavy sarcasm and humor with which it was intended. None of these points are directed at any of my students, friends or colleagues. Anyone who knows me knows that I am far from cocky, arrogant or holier-than-thou. This post is meant for entertainment, not as a means to hold myself up on a pedestal. If you don't have a sense of humor, please don't read this post.

I thought I'd do something a little different today. Instead of new pictures, how-to's or tips, I wanted to post something I thought might be funny and/or entertaining for all you photographers out there. This is the Top 10 Annoying Things to Say to a Landscape Photographer. I cannot take credit for this idea as it was inspired by a post I saw at another great photography blog by Paul Burwell (check it out here).

Let's get it started!

10. I hate using a tripod. They're bulky and slow.

Yeah, I know. Sharp pictures suck. And being able to use any shutter speed I want is a real drag. If only I could just be patient while I’m out enjoying nature! Between answering my cell phone, texting my friend, updating my Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, listening to my iPod and trying to watch my portable TV, I just don’t have the time to set up my tripod for a sharp picture.

9. Have you heard of HDR?

Yeah! It’s hideous! I mean, excuse me, it’s awesome. HDR pictures look so unnatural, especially those halos around trees against the sky. Really vomit-inducing beautiful stuff. And boy do I love sitting behind the computer for 3 hours to create an image that looks way worse almost as good as it would have looked with 5 more minutes of work in the field with a simple filter and zero time at the computer. And HDR definitely creates awesome landscapes that far surpass any without HDR. Iconic photographers like Galen Rowell and Peter Lik have thoroughly proven that. What’s that? Neither of them use(d) HDR? Like ever? Oh...

8. You should do weddings. You'd make so much money!

My god... You, my friend, are one hell of a businessman! A real captain of industry! Really, you should be selling these ideas! I had no clue wedding photographers made a lot of money! And God knows that’s why I’m shooting landscapes — to make lots of money. I’ve been wondering when my huge payday as a landscape photographer was going to come in, but I shall wait no longer! Wedding photography industry, here I come! Thank you, sir, thank you for your sound advice.

7. Will you shoot my wedding?

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

6. I won't be able to get great pictures - I don't have any pro lenses yet.

Oh! That’s right! I forgot Canon and Nikon don’t put the “Awesome Picture” coating on their consumer lenses! They only put that on their pro lenses... Oh, well. I guess you’ll just have to start saving up.

5. How can I get great landscapes in the middle of the day?

Step 1: Get a 20”x30” piece of glass from your local hardware store
Step 2: Download any of these images by Galen Rowell and print out at 20x30
Step 3: Tape the print to the glass
Step 4: Have assistant/friend/monkey hold glass upright
Step 5: Stand 10 feet away and photograph it
Step 6: Crop out assistant/friend/monkey as necessary
Step 7: Enjoy smug satisfaction

4. What kind of camera do you have? It takes amazing pictures!

Yeah, it does. I often send it out to get some new shots while I stay home and watch reruns of Three’s Company. I actually have a new prototype from Canon with built-in legs and artificial intelligence they harvested from the brains of Ansel Adams and Albert Einstein. It’s awesome. Once these things hit the market, everyone will be an amazing photographer. I definitely couldn’t have gotten that picture with a lowly Rebel or D40. Definitely not. Those cameras take horrible pictures even though they have the exact same technology and sensors.

3. Split NDs are cool, but I have a Photoshop® plugin that does the same thing.

No you don’t and no it doesn’t. You have a crappy simulation of a split ND. That plugin darkens blown out pixels. A split ND darkens the light coming through your lens so that your sensor can actually record the sky correctly. It’s kind of like those cell phone towers disguised as trees. If you take a passing glance over it, you might not notice the difference, but really, who are they fooling? That fake tree is still hideous, tacky and it reeks of Photoshop (wait, scratch that last one).

2. Did you Photoshop® that?

No. No, I didn't.

1. Why aren't my landscapes as good as yours?

This is actually a very subtle insult if you look carefully (although not everyone who says it intends it to be that way) because it implies getting good landscapes is just a matter of following a checklist of items I could hand off to you and, thus, allow you to create the same images. I’ll give the response I always think but am too polite to say out loud.

“Gosh, I don’t know. You’ve been shooting how long? 6 months? Okay. And you only shoot in the middle of the day? Uh-huh, okay. That’s weird...there shouldn’t be that much difference, then. Well, I’m really going out on a limb here, but it might be my 10 years of experience or the fact that I only shoot under good light. Or it might be the fact that I travel further than a 5-mile radius around my house. Again...just going out on a limb.”

There you have it, the Top 10 Annoying Things to Say to a Landscape Photographer. If any of this offended you or made me sound like a pompous ass...lighten up, it's a joke 🙂 Thanks for reading!